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WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SAYS SEASONAL PET AND FOOD SAFETY MEASURES CAN PREVENT ILLNESS

 WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH


SAYS SEASONAL PET AND FOOD SAFETY MEASURES CAN PREVENT ILLNESS
 OLYMPIA, Wash., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring is a time of warmer temperatures, flowers in bloom and holiday celebrations involving special meals, hardboiled eggs and sometimes new pets, such as chicks, rabbits and ducklings, the Washington State Department of Health said today.
 "Some of these activities may result in increased risk of disease caused by improper handling of food or animals," said State Health Secretary Kristine M. Gebbie.
 The department offered simple safety measures that can help ensure safety and prevent illness.
 Boiled eggs left at room temperature after cooking may carry disease. Eggs should be refrigerated from the time of purchase until they are eaten, except for the time required for preparation, such as cooking, dyeing or decorating Easter eggs.
 Chicks, rabbits and ducklings often carry infectious diseases that they may transmit to children. If these or other animals are purchased as pets, hands should always be washed after handling. Children may need to be reminded. Turtles, baby chicks and ducklings have been linked to Salmonella, a flu-like illness, in young children. If symptoms of severe stomach pain, severe or persistent diarrhea, headache, chills, fever, nausea or loss of appetite appear, the family doctor should be consulted.
 Meat must be thoroughly cooked. Internal temperatures, measured with a meat thermometer, must be 150 degrees for pork, 165 degrees for poultry and 140 degrees for other foods. Frozen meats should be completely thawed before cooking.
 Leftovers from the meal should be refrigerated within an hour. Foods cool more quickly if placed in shallow containers with airspace around them. Cooks and kitchen helpers should wash their hands after handling poultry or meat, before handling salads and other foods that are to be eaten uncooked. Countertops, sinks and pans that have been exposed to meat or meat juices should be thoroughly washed.
 To obtain a copy of the brochure, "Health Alert! Wash Your Hands!", call the local health department or the Washington State Department of Health, 206-753-2555, or 800-525-0127.
 -0- 4/17/92
 /CONTACT: Mimi Nickerson-Johns, 206-753-3237, or Bert Bartleson, 206-753-2555, both of the Washington State Department of Health/ CO: Washington State Department of Health ST: Washington IN: HEA SU:


SC -- SE006 -- 9778 04/17/92 19:14 EDT
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Date:Apr 17, 1992
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