Warm weather or travel aren’t the only ways to become victim of intestinal distress—just ask any victim of food-poisoning. The CDC estimates 48 million foodborne illnesses occur annually, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die after eating contaminated food. All activities involving food are potential intestinal health saboteurs because, when not adequately refrigerated or cooked, bacteria forms quickly—even left-overs at home.

AVOID “Danger Zones”

Bacteria multiply rapidly between 40° and 140° F. Keep food out of danger zone by maintaining hot food HOT, cold food COLD.

  • Cook food to 160° F (145° F for roasts/steaks, beef/veal/lamb chops);
  • Refrigerated food 40° F or below, freezer food 0° F or below;
  • HOT cooked food at 140° F;
  • Reheated cooked food at 165° F.
  • IMPORTANT: Refrigerate/Freeze left-overs immediately after preparation—separate large amounts into small, shallow containers for quicker cooling.
  • Always marinate in the refrigerator.
  • NEVER defrost food at room temperature—use refrigerator.
  • Don’t over-stuff refrigerator—cold air MUST be able to circulate to keep food safe.
  • Refrigerator kept between 35°–40° to discourage foodborne bacteria.
  • ALWAYS food prep separate AND disinfect all cutting surfaces/sponges/utensils with solution of 2 teaspoons hydrogen peroxide or unscented bleach for every two quarts HOT water, soak minimum 15 minutes, rinse well. I only use non-porous boards and labelled mine: meat, veggie, poultry and fish—the same wash formula in cold water for fruits/vegetables before cooking.

The following steps I’ve used and recommended to clients for 30 plus years—with great success.

1. At FIRST sign of digestive distress (food poisoning, diarrhea, nausea, sudden flu-like symptoms, etc.) immediately take 1 tablespoon Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar. Using this food as medicine is effective because it quickly alkalizes the body— bacteria cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. Repeat every 15 minutes, at least 3 doses, until symptoms subside. Can be taken straight or in water. To sweeten, ONLY use a natural sweetener like Stevia, never sugar or artificial sweeteners.

2. After Cider dose, take a strong probiotic—health-enhancing microorganisms that help our body fight health-depleting “bugs” creating intestinal distress or worse. I use at least 100 billion per capsule for adults, 2–4 billion under age 12. Continue probiotic at least seven days.

3. The USDA recommends washing hands in hot water and soap, minimum 20 seconds, after handling raw food— using the restroom—blowing your nose—shaking hands, etc., and scrub under nails.

*As a special offer to readers of Total Health, download a FREE flier for specifics about Staying Healthy While Traveling, in crowds, or when exposed to illnesses. Go to: www.gloriagilbere.com/travel.