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Posted on: March 3, 2023

Prevent foodborne illness

Meal of soft tacos and vegatables

There are a number of illnesses that can spread through food handling. Whether you are preparing food in a professional setting like a restaurant or at home in your own kitchen, be sure to take steps to prevent the spread of illnesses.

Foodborne illnesses are most often cause by a virus, bacteria, or parasite. Common symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. While most people recover from a foodborne illness without lasting effects, a foodborne illness is still a miserable experience and in some cases can be more serious.

To prevent foodborne illness, always be sure to:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water before handling or eating food.
  • Do not prepare or handle food for others when you are sick.
  • Keep the area where you prep food clean, and always sanitize surfaces after handling raw meat or other higher risk foods.
  • Use separate cutting boards, knives, and other tools for meat and for fruits, vegetables, bread or other items.
  • Always cook meat to a safe internal temperature.
  • Refrigerate leftover food within two hours of cooking. Store perishable items like meat at a temperature of 41 degrees F or colder.
  • Report suspected foodborne illnesses associated with a food business or event to the Snohomish County Health Department by calling 425-339-3503.

Learn more at

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