|SILVER SPRING, Maryland, Feb. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — February 4, 2016, is World Cancer Day. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds cancer patients and survivors (and those preparing food for them) about the importance of safe food handling in preventing foodborne illness.
Learn about safe selection and preparation of foods for people with cancer in the free booklet Food Safety for People with Cancer:
Treatment of cancer typically involves chemotherapy, radiation, and/or medications. A side effect of these therapies as well as the chronic disease process may weaken patients’ immune systems, making them susceptible to foodborne illness (often called “food poisoning”). If a person with cancer contracts a foodborne illness, he or she is also more likely to have a lengthier illness, undergo hospitalization, or even die. This increased risk underscores the critical role safe food handling plays in managing this chronic disease.
Make Wise Food Choices
Some foods are more risky for people with cancer because they are more likely to contain harmful bacteria or viruses. In general, these foods fall into two categories:
Follow the Four Steps to Food Safety
Anyone who has cancer or who prepares food for a person with cancer should also follow these steps:
Know the Symptoms
Consuming dangerous foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness within 1 to 3 days of eating the contaminated food. However, sickness can also occur within 20 minutes or up to 6 weeks later. Symptoms of foodborne illness include: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache, and body ache).