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July 2009 Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource Highlights Food Storage Safety, Energy Therapies and Vitamins and Minerals
Date:7/22/2009

Food Storage Safety: Tips to Avoid Food Poisoning

ROCHESTER, Minn., July 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Here are highlights from the July issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource attribution is required. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit www.bookstore.mayoclinic.com or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-876-8633, extension 9751.

Foods may look, smell and even taste fine -- and still harbor bacteria that can cause food poisoning. The July issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource provides an overview of food storage safety and how to avoid bad bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella.

Safe food storage matters. While diarrhea and vomiting caused by food poisoning usually resolve without treatment, about 325,000 people in the United States are hospitalized every year because of food poisoning. And, 5,000 people die.

Consider these food safety reminders:

  • Observe the "two-hour" rule. Foods requiring refrigeration, including poultry, meat, eggs, cooked seafood, produce, leftovers and takeout food, shouldn't be at room temperature longer than two hours. When the air temperature is above 90 F, perishables should be refrigerated within one hour.
  • Store leftovers safely. Hot foods can go straight into the refrigerator or freezer. They shouldn't be left out to cool on the counter. Hot foods can be rapidly cooled by dipping the bowl or container in ice or a cold-water bath. Leftovers from a large pot will cool more quickly when divided into smaller, shallower containers. In general, leftove
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