Reducing the risk of food poisoning at home

(KOMO file photo)

Food poisoning can do more than make you miserable for a few days. It can result in long-term medical problems.

Research shows that you're twice as likely to get a foodborne illness from restaurant food as you are from something you prepared at home. Even so, many of us do things in the kitchen that increase the risk of getting sick.

A recent article in Nutrition Action Healthletter suggests using two kitchen gadgets to help keep your food safe – a meat thermometer and a refrigerator thermometer.

A good meat thermometer will give you the internal temperature of the meat, fish or poultry you're cooking. The fact is, you can't tell just by looking if those hamburgers or chicken breasts are hot enough on the inside to kill those potentially harmful bugs.

Your best bet is a digital thermometer that gives you an instant readout.

Keeping food cold in the fridge is also critical. The inside temperature should be no more than 40 degrees.

Newer refrigerators often come with a built in thermometer. If yours doesn't have one, buy an old-fashioned refrigerator thermometer. You can buy one for less than $10.

One more tip: Pregnant Women, children, those over 65 and anyone with a weakened immune system should avoid raw sprouts at home or in a restaurant. The risk of contamination is simply too great.

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