September is National Food Safety Education Month. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness about steps you and your colleagues can take to prevent food poisoning.
There have been many food and medication recalls in the news lately, not all of which have the potential to cause health hazards. Watch the interview below from Continuwell co-founder, Doctor Ravi Raheja, on signs of food born illnesses and salmonella. The Continuwell Health Ambassadors have been educating callers on questions related to food poisoning. Learn more about how giving access and encouraging the use of a healthcare professional can keep your colleagues healthy and save your company healthcare dollars.
Recent Food Recalls
A food recall occurs when there is reason to believe that a food may cause consumers to become ill. A food manufacturer or distributor initiates the recall to take foods off the market. In some situations, food recalls are requested by government agencies (USDA or FDA). According to the CDC, almost 48 million people get sick from foodborne illnesses, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die annually. The difficulty with food born illnesses is that it can be difficult to determine if the symptoms are serious enough to warrant and ER visit. It is common for people to worry about their symptoms and end up going to the ER unnecessarily. Without proper education, employees can become worried about the health risks of contracting an illness during food outbreaks.
Recently foods such as Honey Smacks cereal, Goldfish Crackers and eggs have been on the news as being recalled. The main culprit in these recalls was Salmonella. Updates on Honey Smacks alone have shown that at least 130 people across 36 states have contracted the illness, creating a worry among consumers.
Salmonella Symptoms and Complications
Salmonella is a bacterial infection which can cause diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts up to a week and most healthy individuals recover with no serious complications. Serious complications include dehydration from the diarrhea and sepsis from the infection entering the blood stream. Elderly persons, infants and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop severe symptoms.
These symptoms can often be confused or misinterpreted, and having resources such as a telemedicine doctor or a free 24/7 health ambassadors can allow employees to find out more, get help evaluating their symptoms, and determine the best course of action. This can save both valuable time and costs by avoiding an unnecessary ER visit. The Continuwell platform includes highly trained nurses who can assist with any medical concern. Nurses can also email handouts about the outbreak and symptoms, and educate employees on their company’s health resources.
Are you interested in increasing your employee wellbeing and improving their usage of your company’s resources ? Contact Continuwell today.