Your Health

Are you food smart?

Test your summer food safety IQ

Test your summer food safety IQ

BY LISA SKROMEDA
Winnipeg Health Region
Wave, May / June 2014

Have you ever had the 24-hour flu?

If so, it likely wasn't the flu, but a case of foodborne illness, which shares some of the same symptoms (nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fever).

Food-borne illness, also known as food poisoning, occurs when a person gets sick from eating food that has been contaminated with harmful bacteria, parasites or viruses.

People are especially at risk of developing food-borne illness during the summer months. There are two main reasons for this:

  • The harmful bacteria that can make us sick love warm, humid weather - they grow and multiply more quickly in the heat.
  • We cook outside more often in the summer, away from the fridges, washing facilities and thermometers of a kitchen.

Health Canada estimates that there are 11 to 13 million cases of foodborne illness in Canada each year. While some cases are short-lived with mild symptoms, others can lead to serious and long-term symptoms, including kidney disease, seizures and heart failure. Studies estimate that about 85 per cent of all cases of food-borne illness could be prevented if food is handled properly.

With that in mind, we have developed a quiz to test your food safety smarts and help keep your family and friends safe and healthy this summer:

Lisa Skromeda is a registered dietitian with the Winnipeg Health Region.

Wave: May / June 2014

About Wave

Wave is published six times a year by the Winnipeg Health Region in cooperation with the Winnipeg Free Press. It is available at newsstands, hospitals and clinics throughout Winnipeg, as well as McNally Robinson Books.

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