November is National Diabetes Month. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds people with diabetes (and those preparing food for them) about the importance of safe food handling in preventing foodborne illness.
Learn about safe selection and preparation of foods for people with diabetes in the free booklet Food Safety for People with Diabetes:
Practicing food safety is critical because diabetes can affect various organs and systems of the body, making those living with this disease more susceptible to foodborne illness (often called "food poisoning"). If a person with diabetes contracts a foodborne illness, he or she is also more likely to have a lengthier illness, undergo hospitalization, or even die. This increased risk underscores the critical role safe food handling plays in managing this chronic disease.
Certain animal products, such as unpasteurized (raw) milk; soft cheeses made with raw milk; and raw or undercooked eggs, raw meat, raw poultry, raw fish, raw shellfish and their juices; luncheon meats and deli-type salads (without added preservatives) prepared on site in a deli-type establishment.
Follow the Four Steps to Food Safety
Anyone who is diabetic or who prepares food for people with diabetes should also carefully follow these steps:
CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often. Bacteria can be spread throughout the kitchen and get onto hands, cutting boards, utensils, counter tops, and food.
SEPARATE: Keep raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
COOK to the right temperatures. Use a food thermometer to ensure meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products are cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria. Refer to the chart at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/UCM462491.pdf
CHILL foods promptly. Cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure the refrigerator temperature is 40 degrees F or below and the freezer temperature is 0 degrees F or below.