Ministry of Public Health: Safe Food Preparation during 2024 Carnival Helps Prevent Gastroenteritis. | SMN NEWS

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):— During the 2024 Carnival season there will be lots to eat and drink. In connection with safe food preparation at home or grabbing a bite from food kiosks; street market vendors; booth holders; and other points of sale, the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), reminds the public of the importance to observe and practice safe food handling.

Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the stomach and intestine, and is usually due to infection by viruses, bacteria or to food-poisoning toxins. The associated symptoms with gastroenteritis are diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, fever, and headache. The most common symptoms are vomiting and repeated episodes of diarrhea (three or more episodes within 24 hours). To ensure proper diagnosis, care, and treatment, consult your house doctor, who may refer you to your local laboratory for sample collection.

Unsafe food poses health threats, endangering everyone. Infants, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those with an underlying illness are particularly vulnerable.

Infection can spread when bacteria found in feces or vomit is transferred to other objects. Bacteria can be transferred through poor hygiene. It is spread through contamination of hands, objects or food infected with the aforementioned.

For example, if someone does not wash their hands properly after going to the toilet, any viruses or bacteria on their hands will be transferred to whatever they touch, such as glass, kitchen utensil or food.

To prevent the spread of the infection, wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet and before eating or preparing food; regularly clean hard surface/counters and wipe down with bleach solution. Make it a routine habit to adhere to proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

Cross-contamination of food occurs when bacteria is transferred between different foods, from food to surfaces, and from surfaces to food. It is important to be aware of cross-contamination when preparing and storing food.

You can avoid food poisoning and keep yourself and others safe by: preparing food hygienically; not washing raw meat, fish and poultry; washing fruit and vegetables; storing food properly; cleaning recyclable plastics carefully; using shopping bags safely; and cleaning any reusable containers properly.

Temperature control is essential for food safety. Using temperature controls minimizes the potential for harmful bacterial growth and toxin formation in food. Temperature
controls either keep food entirely out of the danger zone or pass food through the danger zone as quickly as possible.

If food temperatures do not meet requirements or if food shows evidence of previous temperature abuse, do not accept the food, or discard the products.

If a food handler, a caretaker, or persons, are diagnosed with gastroenteritis, with your physician’s consultation, you should remain at home and practice good hygiene while you recuperate.

This will help to mitigate the further spread of gastroenteritis cases within the community. Be on the alert and help minimize the spread of foodborne diseases by taking the necessary hygienic and preventive steps.

Proper hand hygiene helps in preventing bacteria and germs. Let us collectively have a safe, healthy, and enjoyable Carnival Season 2024.

For more information call CPS at 542-1122, 542-1222, 542-1322 and 542-1570; or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
document.getElementById(‘cloakd23494f301fb00cc88ae3f98e591e8f1’).innerHTML = ”;
var prefix = ‘ma’ + ‘il’ + ‘to’;
var path = ‘hr’ + ‘ef’ + ‘=’;
var addyd23494f301fb00cc88ae3f98e591e8f1 = ‘surveillance’ + ‘@’;
addyd23494f301fb00cc88ae3f98e591e8f1 = addyd23494f301fb00cc88ae3f98e591e8f1 + ‘sintmaartengov’ + ‘.’ + ‘org’;
var addy_textd23494f301fb00cc88ae3f98e591e8f1 = ‘surveillance’ + ‘@’ + ‘sintmaartengov’ + ‘.’ + ‘org’;document.getElementById(‘cloakd23494f301fb00cc88ae3f98e591e8f1’).innerHTML += ‘‘+addy_textd23494f301fb00cc88ae3f98e591e8f1+”;

To read more: