Every year in the United States, foodborne diseases cause 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths (Centers for Disease Control). Bacteria are microscopic organisms that may cause foodborne illness if foods are not properly stored, cooked, or handled.
Depending on the type of food borne illness, the symptoms can:
Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
Bacteria are present in most foods, and there is usually no danger until they multiply into large enough quantities to cause illness. The smartest way to handle bacteria is to practice safe food habits to discourage them from growing. Bacteria grow under specific conditions of warm temperatures, time, and moisture. Temperatures between 41° and 140°F allow for the fastest bacteria growth. Refrigeration does not stop bacteria and mold from growing; it only slows them down. Optimum refrigerator temperatures are 32° to 38°F.
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