Springfield-Greene County Health Department News Releases

Posted on: June 29, 2017

June 29, 2017 - Health Department encourages food safety over holiday weekend

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1 in 6 people get sick from eating contaminated food each year in the US


With the 4th of July holiday coming up, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department is reminding the community about summer health and safety tips.


Food consumed in a private home is responsible for 21% of foodborne illness outbreaks, according to the CDC. A large percent of foodborne disease outbreaks are spread by contaminated hands.  Wash hands before prepping food, while cooking and before eating.


Follow these tips to keep your food safe this summer:

  • Keep cold foods cold. Keep any cold foods in the refrigerator or in a cooler packed with ice.
  • Do not leave any food cooked or not, sitting out for more than one hour.
  • Cook all meats properly.  All meats should be cooked to the proper internal temperature. Pork, beef and fish =145 F, Ground meats=155 F, Poultry= 165 F
  • Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
  • Keep cooking utensils and cutting surfaces clean.


Another health concern during this time of year is heat illness. Illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke occur when the body’s temperature control system is overloaded. Children, senior adults and people with chronic illness are at highest risk.


Heat exhaustion is the most common heat-related illness and can lead to dehydration.  Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, tiredness, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness or fainting, headache, nausea or vomiting. A person with these symptoms should move to a cool spot, rest and drink cool water. If symptoms worsen or last longer than an hour, they should seek medical attention.


Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature climbs to or above 104°F. It can be deadly. Call 9-1-1 immediately if a person has symptoms including a high body temperature, red, hot or dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion or unconsciousness.


To protect against heat-related illness:

  • Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty; avoid drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps. 
  • Avoid strenuous work or exercise outside during the hottest part of the day. If that is not practical, take frequent breaks and remember to drink plenty of water.
  • Stay in an air-conditioned facility; if your home is not air conditioned, visit a shopping center, public library, community center, cooling center or other air-conditioned facility. 
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Protect yourself from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels). 
  • NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle.
  • Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:
    • Infants and young children
    • People aged 65 or older
    • People who have a mental illness
    • Those who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure


For more information on staying safe in the heat, pool safety, food safety, stream testing and other summer-related topics, visit health.springfieldmo.gov/summer.


Media inquiries should be directed to Kathryn Wall at kwall@springfieldmo.gov or 417-874-1205.

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