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Remember Food Safety During Summer Months

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, June 27, 2018

CONTACT: Joshua Clayton (Joshua.Clayton@state.sd.us), (605) 773-3737 



Remember Food Safety During Summer Months


PIERRE, S.D. – Keep the unwelcome guest of foodborne illness from making an appearance at family reunions or summer gatherings with some simple food safety tips.


“While you enjoy all the summer festivities, don’t forget good food safety practices,” said Dr. Joshua Clayton, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health. “Wash your hands thoroughly, cook and store foods at proper temperatures, clean and sanitize work surfaces after preparing raw meat and poultry and don’t prepare food when you’re sick.”


Symptoms of foodborne illness include mild or severe diarrhea, fever, vomiting and abdominal pain. Most people recover on their own without medication, but some need fluids to prevent dehydration.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates foodborne illness sickens 48 million Americans every year, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. For South Dakota this extrapolates to approximately 125,000 illnesses, 340 hospitalizations and eight deaths annually.


In 2017, South Dakota reported the following foodborne illness cases: Salmonella (226), Campylobacter (395) and E. coli (91). That’s over 700 cases just last year.


Clayton recommends the following safety tips for preparing and storing food:

  • Clean and sanitize. Wash hands, cutting boards, utensils and countertops.
  • Separate. Keep raw meat and poultry separate from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cook foods to a safe temperature, checking with a food thermometer (145°F for whole meats, 160°F for ground meats, 165°F for poultry and stuffing).
  • Chill. Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate leftovers right away. Ensure coolers are fully stocked with ice or frozen gel packs to keep perishable foods cold. Consider packing beverages in one cooler and food in another.
  • When cooking food ahead of time cool it quickly and reheat properly.
  • Never use unpasteurized milk for cooking or drinking.


Learn more about food safety at www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/.


Preventing and controlling infectious disease is one objective of the Department of Health’s 2015-2020 strategic plan, http://doh.sd.gov/strategicplan.


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