Do I Need to Be Worried About Foodborne Illnesses During the Holidays?

The holidays are here, and we are so excited to start celebrating with our closest family and friends. While we are all busy decorating our houses, buying gifts and attending parties, there is always the chance that you will get sick at this time of year.

While the more common illnesses like colds and the flu can keep you down for a few days, foodborne illnesses are also more common during the holiday season and could make you really sick and miserable.

Our AFC Urgent Care Knoxville team wants you to stay as healthy as possible, so we explain some infection mitigation strategies and kitchen safety tips below.

Can I Avoid Getting an Infection?

You sure can try! While it is not possible to completely avoid coming into contact with different germs throughout the season, you can take steps to reduce your risk of illness. First, be sure you are taking care of your body. Eating healthy, prioritizing sleep and reducing stress can go a long ways toward keeping you healthy.

In addition, you should be washing your hands often and limiting time spent in large crowds. Infections can spread quickly in tight spaces, and a single uncovered sneeze can lead to an outbreak of a particular infection in just a few days. All of these strategies work together to give your immune system what it needs to succeed.

How to Have a Healthy Holiday Season

  • Bundle up when it is cold outside.
  • Get your flu vaccine.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.
  • Wear your seatbelt while traveling.

Where Do Foodborne Illnesses Come From?

Whether you are the world’s best chef or it is your first time hosting a holiday gathering for your family, your risk of contracting a foodborne illness is just the same. That’s because bacteria can start to grow on any perishable food in only a few hours of your food sitting out.

The key to avoiding foodborne illnesses like listeria and salmonella is to cook your food thoroughly and to serve it quickly. Prepare your meal and have everyone eat right away, and then promptly store your leftovers in the fridge or freezer. If any food has been left out or forgotten for over two hours, it is best to just throw it out to be on the safe side.

Helpful Kitchen Safety Tips

  • Use designated cutting boards for raw meat and produce.
  • Wash hands before handling food.
  • Don’t cook for others when you aren’t feeling well.
  • Understand specific allergies or dietary restrictions for those attending your party.

We wish you a safe and happy holiday season! Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Knoxville if you aren’t feeling well.