Health & Science

Food Borne Illnesses are a July 4th Risk

More people are likely to get food poisoning this weekend.


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Food borne illnesses are more common in the summer, when higher temperatures can cause faster growth of bacteria. We all think of potato salad as the likely culprit for food poisoning, but all perishable foods should be eaten or chilled within two hours. Dr. David Robinson is chief of Emergency Services at LBJ Hospital and a
professor of emergency medicine at UT Medical School.

“A lot of hazards can occur with sprouts, vine plants. So these are going to be beans, grapes, peas, cucumbers, etc. They carry salmonella, that’s one of the leading causes of food borne illnesses,” Robinson said.

Robinson says washing fresh food thoroughly and fully cooking raw food will help reduce the chance of food poisoning. And he says if you’ve got your food outside at a cookout or picnic, you should chill it within an hour to be safe.

“The CDC reported in 2011 there were 30,000 hospitalizations alone for these illnesses resulting in more than 3,000 deaths,” Robinson said.

Young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to food-related illnesses.


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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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