When preparing for a big Thanksgiving feast, the last thing on your mind is whether or not the food you’re about to eat could make you sick. Yet every year, 48 million Americans are sickened by foodborne illnesses, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.
Before eating the biggest meal of the year, experts say it’s a good idea to educate yourself on food poisoning and how to ensure the holiday meal that you’ve slaved over won’t make you, your family, or guests sick.
Dierdre Schlunegger, CEO of STOP Foodborne Illness, tells Newsmax Health that a variety of pathogens in food can cause serious illnesses, including E. Coli, salmonella, norovirus, and others.
“The consequences of foodborne illness can range from just a small stomachache to death,” Schlunegger says. “Children, elderly people, and those with compromised immune systems are the most at risk for foodborne illnesses.”
The good news is that, with a little planning and preparation, you can avoid many of the cause of food poisoning. Here are nine things Schlunegger and other experts recommend to help you stay safe this holiday season: