Josh Clayton is the South Dakota State Epidemiologist.  He tells KXLG News to that there are a few things to remember when preparing your holiday meal this week to help keep the unwelcome guest of food-borne illness from making an appearance….

Through the end of October, South Dakota had reported 749 cases of the food-borne illnesses Salmonella.

 Symptoms of food-borne illness include mild or severe diarrhea, fever, vomiting and abdominal pain. Most people recover on their own without medication but some need fluids to prevent dehydration.

 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates food-borne illness sickens 48 million Americans every year, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. For South Dakota this extrapolates to approximately 125,000 illnesses, 340 hospitalizations and eight deaths annually.

 Clayton recommends the following safety tips for preparing holiday foods:

  • Clean and sanitize. Wash hands, cutting boards, utensils and counter-tops.
  • Separate. Keep raw meat and poultry separate from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Chill. Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate leftovers right away.
  • When cooking food ahead of time cool it quickly and reheat properly.
  • Don’t lick the bowl if raw eggs are in the batter; don’t use raw eggs in eggnog.
  • Never use unpasteurized milk in eggnog or homemade ice cream, or for drinking

Clayton says this serves as a good reminder……

Preventing and controlling infectious disease is one objective of the Department of Health’s 2015-2020 strategic plan,