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Reminder: Hand hygiene and proper temperatures can prevent foodborne illness

Reminder: Hand hygiene and proper temperatures can prevent foodborne illness (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - If you are preparing food for the fireworks on the night of the Fourth of July or even packing a picnic, then food safety experts have a few important reminders for you.

Food safety experts with the USDA have really stepped up the reminders this time of year.

That's because they recently discovered that most of us know what we should do to help prevent foodborne illness, but we don't do it.

For example, they found that only about one in three of us even bother to use a food thermometer ever to find out if our burgers are cooked to proper temperatures to kill bacteria. That's at least 160 degrees.

Since the most likely illness you are to get in a year is a foodborne illness, they say that there are three steps can keep us from winding up in the emergency room.

The team at Saint Elizabeth Healthcare says more than 3,000 people die each year from these illnesses and many could be prevented with just a few simple steps.

“Picnics, group settings where people are coming in, all with the same illness that can be prevented with hand hygiene, and appropriate storage of food,” said Dr. Jmir Cousar.

In addition to cooking, storage and hand hygiene are also important factors.

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