August is the traditional month for fairs, festivals and carnivals. It is a time when we indulge in fried foods, milkshakes and cotton candy, but it should not be a time when we get sick from those foods.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne illnesses increase during the summer months partly because people cook and eat outdoors at events more often. The usual safety measures found in an indoor kitchen – thermostat-controlled cooking, refrigeration and washing facilities – may not be available or may be substandard at these events.
Powell Law Firm of Scranton PA, suggests if you are attending a fair, festival or carnival this summer, you should use common sense and take food safety steps to ensure that you have fun without worrying about getting sick.
Look around, pay attention
Consumers should patronize vendors only if they notice food safety practices, such as clean workstations, employees washing their hands and wearing gloves or using tongs, and refrigeration for raw ingredients or pre-cooked foods. Check with your local Health Department to make sure vendors are licensed and food inspections have been completed.
If healthy options are not available, consider bringing your own food, but make sure it is handled and stored properly. Don’t let food sit out for more than two hours. On a hot day (90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), reduce this time to one hour. Put perishable items in a cooler or insulated bag.
Repeated hand washing is a must! Locate washing stations immediately and always wash your hands after petting animals, touching the animal enclosures or exiting animal areas, even if you did not touch an animal. For that matter, wash them after using the restroom, playing a game or going on a ride, before eating and drinking or preparing food or drinks, after changing diapers and after removing soiled clothes or shoes. Bring hand sanitizers or wipes in case washing stations are not provided or you cannot locate them.
If you suspect you may have contracted a foodborne illness, report it to your local Health Department, even if it is after you have recovered.
If you have any additional questions regarding foodborne illness, one of our knowledgeable attorneys at Powell Law will be happy to help you. Since 1906, our PA personal injury lawyers have successfully represented thousands of clients in serious personal injury cases, including PA car accidents, tractor trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, PA medical malpractice, PA worker’s comp, slip and fall, product-related injuries and Social Security disability claims. Our PA criminal defense attorneys represent defendants in all types of summary, misdemeanor and felony cases ranging from drunk driving cases to major crimes in both state and federal courts.
Powell Law is Northeastern Pennsylvania’s oldest PA personal injury law firm. It was established by our grandfather, Attorney James J. Powell Sr., on the principles of honor, integrity and trust. For three generations, we have upheld those principles every day – in every case. We have offices in Scranton, Stroudsburg, Taylor and Moscow. Call us toll-free at 800-290-7707.