The BRAT Diet is a bland food diet of bananas, applesauce, rice and toast. According to http://www.familydoctor.org, this diet of binding foods helps people recover from upset stomachs and diarrhea.
With scorching summer temperatures and humidity, the Centers for Disease Control advises protecting yourself by staying indoors in air-conditioned places, wearing light, loose clothing, limiting outdoor activities and drinking plenty of fluids, preferably non-sugary and decaffeinated, in extreme heat.
During the summer months, food contamination also is a public concern. The Centers for Disease Control reports 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.
The CDC says the most common food illnesses are caused by norovirus, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter. The symptoms of food poisoning include vomiting and diarrhea. Death also can occur due to complications such as organ failure. See a doctor, if you get sick from possibly contaminated food.
Young children, pregnant women, adults over 65, and people with weak immune systems are more likely to get food poisoning, the CDC says.
The symptoms of food poisoning are:
— nausea, frequent vomiting, dehydration, feeling dizzy when standing up, diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days, blood in stools, high fever above 101.5 degrees F, measured by mouth.
University of South Florida Internal Medicine’s Dr. Max Feldman and Dr. Farber prescribed the BRAT diet to us– Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast for 1-3 days to allow the gut to heal before slowly returning to solid food. They also recommend GatorAde to replenish the body’s electrolytes and liquids to stay hydrated. The doctors say most people recover from food illnesses within 3-7 days.
To protect you and your family from contaminated food at home, here are some CDC guidelines:
Wash your hands and food-preparation surfaces often. Germs can survive in many places around your kitchen, including your hands, utensils, and cutting boards. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water.
Don’t cross-contaminate. Even after you’ve cleaned your hands and surfaces thoroughly, raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can still spread germs to ready-to-eat foods—unless you keep them separate.
Cook to the right temperature. Use a food thermometer to ensure that foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature: 145°F for whole meats (allowing the meat to cool for 3 minutes before carving or consuming), 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry.
Keep your refrigerator below 40°F and refrigerate foods promptly. Germs can grow in many foods within 2 hours unless you refrigerate them. (During the summer heat, cut that time down to 1 hour.)
For more information on preventing food poisoning, check your steps at FoodSafety.gov.