Prepare Against Foodborne Illnesses

Have you noticed the increased amount of reported foodborne illness outbreaks lately? The CDC estimates that 1 in 6 Americans are exposed to a foodborne illness each year. Symptoms from bacteria such as Campylobacter, Salmonella and E. Coli can last up to two days and include fever, diarrhea and abdominal craps. Severe complications may lead to life threatening infections, profuse bleeding, kidney failure and even death.   Raw foods such as meat and poultry, eggs, unpasteurized milk, shellfish and fruits and vegetables are more likely to be contaminated. The next time you’re cooking for yourself or family put these best practices to use to avoid catching and spreading a foodborne illness.   Cook Meat, Poultry and Eggs Thoroughly Egg yolks should be white and firm, not runny. A good way to be sure that meat is cooked is to use a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the meat. Based on USDA recommendations:

■ Cook whole cuts of meat (pork, steaks, roasts and chops) to 145 °F
■ Place the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat
■ Allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or consuming
■ Cook fish to 145 °F or until the flesh is opaque and separates easily with a fork.
■ Cook ground meats (ground beef, veal, lamb and pork) to 160 °F
■ Cook all poultry products (including ground chicken and turkey) to 165 °F

Avoid Cross-Contamination

  • Wash your hands, utensils, and cutting boards after they’ve been in contact with raw meat or poultry and before they touch another food.
  • Do not put cooked meats on the same platter that held raw meat.

Refrigerate Your Leftovers

  • Bacteria can grow quickly at room temperate, so refrigerate leftovers if they aren’t going to be eaten within 4 hours.

Wash All Produce

  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables in running tap water to remove dirt and grime.
  • For vegetables like a head of lettuce or cabbage, remove the outermost leaves.
  • Avoid leaving cut produce at room temperature for many hours.

More importantly, don’t be a source of foodborne illness yourself. Wash your hands with soap and water and avoid preparing food for others if you have a diarrheal illness. Report suspected foodborne illnesses to your local health department and seek medical treatment if you feel that you have ingested tainted food. “Fight Bac – Keep Food Safe From Bacteria.” Food Safety Education. 2010. Web. 23 June 2011. “Foodborne Illness”. National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases: Division of Bacterial Diseases. 23 Dec. 2010. Web. 23 June 2010

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP