This article was contributed by MDH Refugee Health Program as part of an ongoing series. Special thanks to the Foodborne, Vectorborne, and Zoonotic Diseases Unit and the University of Minnesota Medical Students.
Have you ever gotten sick from something you ate? If so you are not alone. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that last year 48 million Americans suffered from foodborne illnesses.
Foodborne illnesses are not actually caused by food, but by germs living on food. Germs are tiny living things that are too small for us to be able to see without using a microscope. Examples of germs include the bacteria Salmonella and the virus Norovirus. Sometimes chemicals found on unwashed foods can also cause illness.
These germs can cause a wide range of diseases, from mild stomach discomfort to severe infections, organ failure and death. Fortunately, everyone can take steps to fight the germs that cause foodborne illness. So what can you do to make your kitchen a safer, healthier place? More…