Just wanted to remind everyone that salmonella and other food borne illnesses are also transmissible person-to-person. We’ve all seen how diseases can spread rapidly through Canberra so here’s some tips from everyone’s favourite waitress (me!) to help keep this outbreak contained.
Please stay home from work if you’ve been sick (particularly vomiting, diarrhoea, fever) and even more importantly, keep your kids home from school or childcare as they aren’t likely to understand the importance of hectic hygiene. Us food handlers (including waiters etc) will already be legally forbidden to work if diagnosed with a reportable disease but the rest of you also won’t get any thanks for spreading diseases around the office (site, showroom, lair).
Wash your hands after going to the toilet, before and after eating (drinking, smoking) and obviously before cooking or serving. Scrub them well with soap, up to and over the wrist, between the fingers and under the nails. At work we dry hands with paper towel because fabric stays moist after use and water breeds germs. Consider keeping some alcohol gel on hand or in your handbag for quick top-ups and convenience.
Remember you won’t show any symptoms of food poisoning for up to a week after eating affected food. Some bugs will hit you instantly but others won’t. So don’t assume you’re not contagious just because you haven’t shown symptoms yet. If your family and friends are affected, there’s a good chance you will be too. Better a bit of paranoid hand washing than a week in hospital.
To avoid food poisoning in the home (doubly important until we figure out what supplied food might be involved here), keep your meat at the bottom of the fridge, make sure your fridge is under 5 degrees and your freezer keeping things hard, clean off your chopping boards after cutting dangerous foods (don’t put raw meat on your salads), only thaw frozen meat in the fridge, keep your groceries in the fridge until you need them, putting them away as soon as they are used and make sure you’re cooling leftovers instantly, in small portions. Wash everything and don’t rely on cooking to destroy bugs.
Stay healthy Canberra!