The Palmetto Poison Center has information on how to keep your family safe this holiday season.
Food poisoning is an uninvited guest that can ruin any party. During your festivities keep these food safety tips in mind:
• Refrigerate or freeze perishable food within 2 hours(1 hour if temperatures are above 80 degrees).
• Never place fresh fruit/vegetables or cooked food in the same container or on the same surface that raw food has touched.
• Always wash your hands after handling raw meat. Scrub hands, wrists, fingernails and in between fingers with soap for at least 20 seconds.
“One of the major issues over the hot summer months concerns improperly stored food ”,
states Dr. Jill Michels a Clinical Pharmacist and Director of the Palmetto Poison Center at
USC’s South Carolina College of Pharmacy. “ As the temperature rises the risk for bacteria
growth increases. Always follow proper storage methods for events both inside and
outside.” Food poisoning can present itself in different ways, but common symptoms include
nausea/vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
Besides food poisoning, a lesser known concern during the summer holidays include carbon monoxide exposures while boating. These exposures can happen very quickly and can be deadly. There have been at least 17 reported fatalities from boat exhaust in this country since 1990. Ways to avoid carbon monoxide exposures while boating include:
• Do not let your boat idle when in a stationary position including anchoring in coves or when several boats are tied together.
• Do not sit on the swim platform of idling boats. There have been case reports of individuals within less than a minute becoming unresponsive due to carbon monoxide.
• Be aware of carbon monoxide exposure symptoms: headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
The Palmetto Poison Center is staffed by trained nurses and pharmacists who can provide expert information when any poisoning occurs. The Center provides services to over 4 million residents in all 46 counties of South Carolina. Services are free, confidential and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To contact the Palmetto Poison Center, call 1-800-222-1222. Additional information and free materials can be obtained by visiting our website at http://poison.sc.edu