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Health Official Urges Food Safety Over Holidays

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – South Dakota’s state epidemiologist is reminding residents to cook and store foods at proper temperatures over the holidays.

Dr. Lon Kightlinger says it’s not uncommon for holiday pot-lucks at schools, churches, offices or other gatherings to result in food-borne outbreaks.

Those preparing meals should also wash their hands thoroughly, cook and store foods at proper temperatures and don’t prepare food when they’re sick.

Food-borne illness symptoms can include mild or severe diarrhea, fever, vomiting and abdominal pain. Most people recover on their own without medication but some need fluids to prevent dehydration.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year food-borne illness sickens roughly one in six Americans – or 48 million people

Some 128,000 people are hospitalized each year and 3,000 die.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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