Protect Your Family from Food Poisoning

December 20th, 2011 by admin

The Basics

Food poisoning (foodborne illness) is when you get sick from eating or drinking something that has harmful germs (like bacteria, viruses, or parasites) in it. Two common causes of food poisoning are E. coli and Salmonella.

Good habits like these can help protect your family from food poisoning:

  • Buy food from stores that look and smell clean.
  • Don’t buy food past “sell by,” “use by,” or other expiration dates.
  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap – especially before and after touching food.
  • Make sure food is cooked to a safe temperature.
  • Keep raw meat and seafood away from cooked and ready-to-eat food.
  • Keep cold foods cold. Keep hot foods hot.

Take Action!

Cooking meals at home is a great way to stay healthy and save money. Make sure you follow these simple steps to keep your family safe from food poisoning.

Shop smart when you buy food.
Shop at stores that look and smell clean. A dirty store or a bad smell can be a sign that food hasn’t been stored safely.

Follow these other safety tips when you choose food at the store:

  • Check the expiration (“use by” or “sell by”) dates on everything you buy.
  • Don’t buy cans that are leaking, bulging, or badly dented.
  • Don’t buy bottles or jars with “popped” lids or broken seals.
  • Buy eggs that have been kept in the store’s refrigerated section. Make sure they are free of cracks and liquid.
  • Put meat, poultry (like chicken and turkey), fish, and eggs in plastic bags, or separate them from other food in your cart or basket. This will keep them from leaking onto your other food.
  • Pick out frozen foods last so they are less likely to thaw before you get them home.
  • Make sure frozen food packages aren’t open or crushed. Avoid packages with frost or ice crystals – these are signs that the food has become warm and then refrozen.
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.Link to more information for protecting your family from food poisoning is at > Healthfinder.gov

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Contrary to Popular Belief Breast Cancer Rates Unaffected by Family History

December 11th, 2011 by admin
By Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

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CHICAGO — Women ages 40 to 49 with no family history of breast cancer have similar rates of invasive disease as those with familial risk, radiologists reported here, firing yet another salvo at government mammography guidelines.

Among a group of more than 1,000 breast cancer patients, 64% of those with no family history of breast cancer had invasive disease, as did 63.2% of those with family history, a non-significant difference, according to Stamatia Destounis, MD, of Elizabeth Wende Breast Care in Rochester, N.Y., and colleagues.

“We were intrigued and surprised by the data,” Destounis said during a press briefing at the Radiological Society of North America meeting, noting that general wisdom suggests women with a family history are at greater risk of developing the disease than other women.

“Since there’s no difference in the rate of invasive breast cancer for women in their 40s whether they have a history of breast cancer or not, the recommendation should be that women in their 40s have screening mammography yearly,” Destounis said.
In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against routine screening for women ages 40 to 49, leaving patients and clinicians to make individual decisions based on their risk. Mammograms should start at age 50, the committee said, and be performed every two years.
Yet the American Cancer Society (ACS), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and other groups have called for continued screening in this age group, which Destounis said has led to confusion among patients and their doctors.
Still, the debate has shown few signs of letting up, as studies have continued to flood in — some showing that screening women 40 to 49 offers a robust mortality benefit while others have found only a trivial benefit.
Destounis and colleagues reviewed data on all breast cancer patients seen at their clinic between 2000 and 2010, with a total of 1,071 patients ages 40 to 49 treated for 1,116 cancers.
A total of 373 of those had been diagnosed via screening at their clinic; 61% of those patients had no family history of the disease, while 39% did. There were no significant differences in terms of the percentage of patients in either group who had a personal history of the disease.
The investigators also found that similar percentages of patients with and without familial risk had disease that metastasized to the lymph nodes (29.4% of those without versus 31.3% of those with).
“We agree with the ACS, which recommends screening for every woman in her 40s,” Destounis said.
Gary Whitman, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who was not involved in the study, told MedPage Today there are “very few mammographers who feel differently about the need to screen all women at 40 years of age.”
Edith Perez, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., who also was not involved in the study, noted that it may show that family history isn’t necessarily useful for deciding whether a younger woman may be at greater risk of breast cancer, though this hypothesis would need further testing.

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