Safe Food Handling for People with Weakened Immune Systems

Transcript - Safe Food Handling for People with Weakened Immune Systems

Michel cracking eggs into a bowl.

Sound: Eggs cracking.

Michel whisking eggs in a bowl.

Sound: Sound of eggs being whisked.

Michel placing frying pan on the stove.

Sound: frying pan being placed on stovetop

Narrator - Michel Naubert may only be 13 years old but he's learned a lot in a short period of time about the importance of staying healthy and strong.

Joanne Anka - Mother of transplant recipient - " He had severe kidney failure when he was born and so by by age 3 he needed a transplant. His father gave him a kidney."

Michel putting strawberries into a bowl and then washing them in the kitchen sink.

Sound: Running water from kitchen sink.

Narrator - Michel is particularly aware of how to keep his food safe from contamination and for good reason. He just doesn't have what it takes to fight off infection.

Joanne Anka - Mother of transplant recipient: " Where someone else might just have an upset stomach or feel like maybe they've got a 24 hour flu in Michel's case it could mean life and death."

Doctor walking into his office and sitting at his desk.

Woman cutting vegetables on cutting board and putting vegetables into a frying pan.

Narrator - Dr. Jeff Farber is Health Canada's leading expert on microbial hazards such as listeriosis. He says listeria for the most part only affects high risk individuals like diabetes, HIV Aids, alcoholism and organ transplant recipients like Michel.

Michel and his sister in the kitchen preparing a meal.

Sound: Family talking and cooking together in the kitchen.

Dr. Jeff Farber - Director, Bureau of Microbial Hazards - Health Canada: " You may have one or two cells of listeria monocytogenes on that leaf of lettuce. If those cells encounter an individual whose immune system is weakened they can take advantage of this and they can actually pass through the stomach into the intestine and what happens is that they actually cross the intestinal wall and migrate and make their way into the liver and spleen where they can actually multiply in these organs and then invade the rest of the body."

Woman placing raw meats in separate containers into the refrigerator.

Narrator - Those with weakened immune systems should take extra care when handling and preparing food. Be sure raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood is separated from other food in your grocery cart and refrigerator. Proper cooking is the best way to make sure your food is safe to eat. Always remember to cook raw meat, poultry, fish and sea food to a safe internal temperature. A digital food thermometer works best.

Digital thermometer at 71 degrees Celsius.

Sound: Beeping of digital food thermometer.

  • Hot dogs and deli meats
  • Raw or undercooked meat, poultry and seafood
  • Refrigerated smoked fish or seafood
  • Unpasteurized juice, cider and milk
  • Soft and semi-soft cheeses
  • Refrigerated pates and meat spreads
  • Uncooked foods made from raw or unpasteurized eggs

Narrator - Some foods are at higher risk for food borne illness than others, like: Hot dogs and deli meats; raw or undercooked meat; poultry and seafood; refrigerated smoked fish or seafood; unpasteurized juice, cider and milk; unpasteurized soft and semi-soft cheeses; refrigerated pâtés and meat spreads and uncooked foods made from raw or unpasteurized eggs.

Michel taking washed strawberries over to kitchen counter.

Michel Naubert - Transplant Recipient - " It's not just important just for me but its important to like everyone too, I mean you know no one wants to get sick really so, except if you have like a big exam or something."

Sound: Michel laughing.

Narrator - For more information on Food Safety please visit healthycanadians.gc.ca.

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