Food Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
Concord, NH – As we enter the busy holiday season, the Department of Health
and Human Services’ (DHHS) Food Protection Section is promoting important
food safety practices by encouraging residents to follow some simple tips
to avoid foodborne illnesses, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and
“Don’t let germs ruin your holiday activities by not taking proper
precautions against foodborne disease,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting
Director of the Division of Public Health Services at DHHS. “There are
simple tips for safe food preparation that we should all be following every
day, not just at holidays. Sometimes at large family gatherings our
attention may not be focused as closely on safe food handling and this can
present an opportunity for bacteria to be introduced.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there
are 31 pathogens known to cause foodborne illness. Every year there are an
estimated 48 million cases of illness, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000
deaths in the United States due to foodborne diseases. Symptoms can vary
depending on the illness, but some common symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal
cramps, and nausea. It is difficult to say with certainty which microbe is
causing a given illness without laboratory testing.
The following simple precautions should always be followed by cooks and
food service workers to reduce the possibility of anyone becoming sick:
Separate: Use a separate cutting board for cooked foods and raw foods
and always wash them after use. Do not cut raw vegetables on the same
cutting board as raw meat. Avoid cross contamination. Wash any
utensil after preparing one food item before going on to the next
Clean: Always wash hands before touching any food. Wash hands and
surfaces often during food preparation and afterward.
Cook: Make sure all meats are thoroughly cooked by using a meat
thermometer: turkey, stuffing, and casseroles to 165ºF; veal, beef,
and lamb roasts to 145ºF; and ham, pork, ground beef, and egg dishes
to 160ºF. When reheating, leftovers should be thoroughly heated to
Chill: Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours. The
refrigerator should be maintained at 40ºF or lower and the freezer
should be at 0ºF or lower. Keep hot foods hot, 140ºF or hotter, and
cold foods cold, 40ºF or below. Never defrost food at room
temperature. Thaw food in the refrigerator, in a cold-water bath, or
in the microwave. When using a microwave, meat must be cooked
immediately after. Marinate foods in the refrigerator.
Report: Report suspected foodborne illnesses to the NH Department of
Health and Human Services by calling 603-271-4496. Often calls from
concerned citizens are how outbreaks are first detected. If a public
health official calls you to talk about an outbreak your cooperation
is important, even if you are not ill.
For more information, visit www.dhhs.nh.gov , www.usda.gov, www.cdc.gov , or
http://www.fightbac.org/. To report a foodborne outbreak, call the DHHS
Division of Public Health Services at 603-271-4496.
Entries in Public Health (105)
Food Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
NH DHHS Launches Tips from Former SmokersMedia Campaign
in Support of the Great American Smoke Out on November 19th
Concord, NH – In celebration of the 38th Great American Smoke Out (GASO),
the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is
launching Tips From Former Smokers, a national education campaign created
by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to encourage
smokers to quit. DHHS is launching the ads in November to recognize the
importance of GASO. This event, sponsored by the American Cancer Society,
encourages tobacco users to quit for at least one day in the hope that this
might challenge them to stop permanently. The multi-media Tips campaign
will run statewide through March of 2016.
“This is a very powerful campaign; the people in the ads are real and they
have suffered from using tobacco,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director
of the Division of Public Health Services. “Quitting is very difficult and
the individuals in the Tipsads know that firsthand, but they were able to
quit and they want to help others quit too. The Great American Smoke Out is
an opportunity to begin a journey towards a healthier, tobacco-free life.”
New Hampshire will be featuring Tips participants Amanda, who’s baby was
born 2 months early and weighed only 3 pounds; Jessica, a mother with a
young son who suffers from asthma attacks due to secondhand smoke exposure;
and Bill, who had diabetes at 15 and started smoking cigarettes at 39 but
quit after his leg was amputated due to poor circulation. Their stories,
the stories of other former smoker, and tips for quitting can be found at:
Currently, 17.5% of New Hampshire adults report smoking but almost 65%
report wanting to quit. DHHS helps residents quit tobacco and provides them
with cessation resources, including free counseling to all residents who
call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or self-refer via the web (www.TryToStopNH.org ). The
Helpline provides no-cost counseling and encouragement for quitting tobacco
use to all New Hampshire residents. Nicotine patches are available for
those who qualify, while supplies last.
For more information about the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human
Services visit www.dhhs.nh.gov . For information about the Great American
Smoke Out visit
Department of Health and Human Services Release Tobacco Data Report for
National Stroke Awareness Day
Concord, NH – The NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has
released a new report, Tobacco Use in New Hampshire: Prevalence, Health
Consequences, and Strategies to Reduce Use, 2015 Report, which presents
data and trends on tobacco use among youth and adults in New Hampshire over
the past 20 years. It also highlights mortality from smoking-related
diseases, evidence-based strategies for reducing tobacco use, and the
status of these strategies in New Hampshire.
The DHHS is releasing the report on October 28th, National Stroke Awareness
Day, to highlight the connection between smoking tobacco products and
stroke. A stroke is a sudden death of brain cells caused by blood clots or
bleeding. Smoking is one cause of dangerous plaque buildup inside of
arteries; plaque can rupture and cause clots and block arteries.
“About 10% of strokes are caused by smoking,” said Marcella Bobinsky,
Acting Director of Public Health at DHHS. “Even breathing secondhand smoke
can cause clots in non-smokers. However, two to five years after quitting
smoking, a person’s risk of a stroke could fall to about the same as a
nonsmoker’s. The Department supports every attempt to quit tobacco use and
offers assistance in the form of the NH Tobacco Helpline.”
Stroke is the 5th leading cause of death in both the United States and in
New Hampshire. It is also a leading cause of serious long-term disability.
In New Hampshire, 437 people died of stroke in 2013. There are things that
one can do to help lower their risk of having a stroke. These include:
eating a healthy diet that is low in fat and salt and high in fruits and
vegetables; maintaining a healthy weight; quitting tobacco and limiting
alcohol; and having one’s blood pressure and cholesterol checked.
It is important to know the warning signs of stroke and the need to call
911 if one thinks they or someone they know is having a stroke. Getting
immediate treatment can help prevent death and reduce disability. The
American Stroke Association uses the Acronym “F.A.S.T” to teach the stroke
warning signs in an easy way. Learn the F.A.S.T. acronym (FACE drooping,
ARM weakness, SPEECH difficulty, TIME to call 911), and share this
information with others you know. A free App for “F.A.S.T” is available for
download at the App Store or Google Play. If you are unsure if you or
someone else is having a stroke, you should ALWAYS call 911.
The tobacco report details the addiction cycle of nicotine, tobacco use’s
impact on public health, and strategies to prevent and reduce tobacco use
in New Hampshire. The report is available at:
For more information about heart disease and stroke, see the New Hampshire
Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Action Plan 2015-2020 at
DHHS currently offers free help quitting tobacco use through 1-800-QUIT-NOW
Member of the media are invited to a press event on Tuesday, September 29,
2015, at 11:30am, to hear firsthand from State officials about the State’s
comprehensive strategy to address the opioid overdose crisis.
WHAT: State of New Hampshire’s comprehensive strategy to address
the opioid epidemic, including the plan to distribute the
drug overdose reversal medication, naloxone
WHO: Anticipated speakers include Governor Maggie Hassan; DHHS
Commissioner Nicholas Toumpas; NH Bureau of Emergency
Medical Services Director Nick Mercuri; Police Chief
Association President Chief Bob Cormier; individuals in
recovery; family members of those experiencing addiction;
and physicians providing naloxone and medication-assisted
treatment for people experiencing addiction
WHEN: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
WHERE: Governor and Council Chambers
NH State House
The press conference will specifically address:
· Two new laws, House Bills 270 and 271, that were passed and went in
to effect June 2, 2015, to increase public access to drug overdose
reversal medication, often referred to as naloxone or by its
commercial name, Narcan.
· The State’s purchase of naloxone kits that will be made available
this fall at no cost for those at risk for an opioid-related overdose
or their friends and family members.
· The State’s new campaign to increase awareness of the opioid crisis
and of resources and services available to help prevent, treat and
support recovery from addiction.
Presentations will run from 11:30am to approximately 12:10pm, with the
remaining 20 minutes available for questions from the press.
Press packets will be available at the beginning of the event.
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
(DHHS), Division of Public Health Services, Oral Health Program, has been
providing oral health screenings in senior centers around the State to
raise awareness of the importance of oral health for New Hampshire's older
Older adults face barriers to regular dental care due to a lack of dental
insurance, financial constraints, absence of perceived need, and
transportation issues. A recent statewide survey of older adults in senior
centers documented an unmet need for dental care among seniors living
independently in their communities, particularly among those residing in
rural areas, and those with limited incomes. Twenty-four percent of older
adults have untreated decay and sharp broken teeth.
“Because many seniors have unmet oral health needs, the Department is
promoting innovative approaches to dental care to help seniors prevent and
control tooth decay,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of the
Division Public Health Services. “Oral health is part of healthy aging; you
can’t be healthy without good oral health.”
Older adults with urgent dental needs in six selected senior centers who
have been identified by hygienists are referred to participating local
dental offices, where their treatment is paid for through funds from DHHS.
These services are especially important for older adults because poor oral
health impacts their nutritional status, social functioning, and overall
well-being. As the gateway to the body, the mouth is constantly challenged
by bacteria and viruses that cause infection and inflammation. Dental
caries (cavities) and the periodontal diseases (such as gingivitis and
periodontitis) have been linked to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes,
respiratory diseases, and cancer.
The Oral Health Program received funds from the National Association of
Chronic Disease Directors to provide seniors with screening assessments,
oral health education, and referrals for treatment.
While these programs are important, funding for seniors’ dental screening
assessments ends on September 30, 2015. DHHS is raising awareness of the
issue to show the importance of sustaining the screening program and adding
on-site preventive oral health services to additional sites in the state.
For more information about screening sites or the Oral Health Program in
New Hampshire visit http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/rhpc/oral/index.htm.
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