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Undercooked food can be hazardous

Posted On Thu, December 16, 2010

Many people think of food poisoning as something that may make a person feel sick for a few days. However, foodborne illnesses can be actually prove fatal.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 3,000 people die annually from foodborne illnesses while another 128,000 have to be hospitalized.

CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Disease Director Christopher Braden says more effort needs to be made in decreasing illnesses related to food.

"People expect food to nourish them, not to harm them. So we need to intensify efforts to decrease the number of illnesses and deaths due to foodborne diseases," says Braden. "We now know more than ever what pathogens are causing the most harm, and we will continue our work to help protect people from these illnesses."

When going out to eat, people should never order their food cooked rare. If a meal is served undercooked, it should be sent back. This is particularly important given that patrons do not know for sure how clean a restaurant kitchen is. Food that has not been cooked to the appropriate temperature can still have dangerous bacteria.

People should also protect themselves with life insurance in the rare event they are one of the few thousand to become fatally ill. 

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