Thanksgiving: Stuffed or Sick? – Foodborne Illness

Fall Harvest Basket

Take a look outside your window – what do you see? In most parts of the United States, you’ll find brilliant colored leaves turning brown on trees that are shedding them to the ground for the preparation of colder weather. You might see an abundance of pumpkins or scarecrows. Sweaters. Boots. Time to cozy up. All of this together can only mean one thing: autumn is here, and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

A time for gathering family together to break bread and give thanks, a time to stuff yourself silly on a cornucopia of delicious foods, a time to settle back and enjoy the presence of your loved ones around the dining table. What a lovely setting! It would be such a shame if foodborne illness or disease permeated this joyous occasion and turned it into a nightmare of suffering.

 

Food-Borne Illness: Cause and Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 76 million Americans suffer from illness around the Thanksgiving holiday season. That’s an astounding number that could be prevented with a little care and maintenance while cooking and enjoying one of the biggest meals of the year. Let’s take a look at some of more common causes:

  • Improper hand washing – While it seems like sheer common sense that you should wash your hands before cooking a meal or handling any type of food, this simple step can often become overlooked when you’re rushing to prepare food for a hungry crowd. Always make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap before touching any type of food, getting under your nails and between your fingers.
  • Undercooked food – Cooking a turkey is a huge undertaking for both amateurs and experienced chefs alike. While it’s tempting to rush through the cooking process, the recommended amount of time to roast an unstuffed turkey is 15 to 18 minutes per pound; the internal temperature should reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Any less and you’ll be exposing your guests to illnesses such as E. coli and salmonella.
  • Contaminated leftovers – You’ve cooked a perfect meal from start to finish, which is no small task. Don’t ruin your feast by letting leftovers sit out for more than 2 hours without refrigeration. Bacteria grows rapidly at room temperature and can double in amount within a 20-minute period. Make sure your food is stored in shallow, covered containers in a refrigerator that’s at least 40 degrees or below. And don’t overstuff your fridge, either; doing so can block air circulation and cause leftovers to grow bacteria even in a covered dish.

Bacteria is odorless and colorless, which can fool you into thinking food is safe when it’s not. When you ingest food containing salmonella, expect to see symptoms within 12 to 72 hours. You might think you’ve overeaten and feel fuller than normal, or sluggish, but with salmonella comes diarrhea; chills; fever; loss of appetite; and even dehydration. Symptoms can last 4 to 7 days and make the victim feel like they’ve gotten the flu.

E.coli manifests itself with similar symptoms as salmonella, including abdominal pain and vomiting. Both of these illnesses can leave a person housebound, weak, and in excruciating gastrointestinal pain. This makes going to the doctor extremely difficult. Who wants to drive when they feel like throwing up every 20 minutes?

There are over 200 known food-borne illnesses documented by the CDC, which accounts for the deaths of around 9,000 Americans every year. That is quite a worrisome figure. Anyone can be afflicted with illness this Thanksgiving, but food-borne illness tends to hit hardest for small children, the elderly, and pregnant women. Getting medical attention when you first start seeing signs of symptoms can drastically reduce the amount of time spent feeling sick, and get you back on your feet so you can continue to work and take care of business as usual.

 

How Telemedicine Can Help

If you’re unfamiliar with the term telemedicine, it’s a relatively new concept that’s shaking up the traditional idea of brick-and-mortar doctor’s offices. Loosely defined as “the remote diagnosis and treatment of patients by means of telecommunications technology,” telemedicine utilizes the power of the internet to bring the doctor to you, no matter where you are.

If you’re feeling poorly and can’t seem to get out of bed, or leave the toilet long enough to properly function in public, logging on to see a qualified provider is the answer you’ve been looking for. And Care on Location can definitely help.

Based in Denver, CO but service patients statewide, Care on Location harnesses Dr. Jonathon Savage’s nearly 25 years of experience and brings his knowledge of personal care to you in an affordable, convenient package.

Services include:

  • Video Care Consult ($49.99) – Connects you to a qualified healthcare provider from the comfort of your computer, no matter where you are in Colorado.  
  • Assisted Care Consult ($99.99)Connects you to a video health provider who will then use a Mobile Telemedicine Examination Kit to determine what your specific ailment might be, and is available at select schools, nursing homes, and more. 

Not sure whether telemedicine is right for you? Take a look at some of the ailments we treat to see if Care on Location would be a good fit:

  • Headaches and dizziness                   
  • Fever and/or flu-like symptoms
  • Sore throats
  • Eye irritations
  • Allergies
  • Coughing
  • Mild Asthma Flare
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Rashes

Care on Location has the ability to refer you to suitable physicians if needed, or even prescribe medication for qualified individuals.

Prices for our services are reasonable, affordable, and typically less than what it would cost for a visit with your local family doctor. We are diligently and actively working on becoming an ‘In Network’ provider for several health insurance plans, and currently accept the following insurance and methods of payment:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Cigna
  • United Healthcare

 

Making the Right Choice

Feeling good about your health, despite the rising cost of health care, is always a priority we can afford to make in our lives. When a traditional doctor’s visit isn’t in the cards, that’s where telemedicine can help.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, practice food safety and proper hygiene, and rest assured that Care on Location is here to help!

 

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