Health rail for Monday, Nov. 24, with items on food safety, how broccoli might help smokers, tips for avoiding hospital-acquired infections and more.
The holiday season means preparing for yummy feasting. But along with popularity of preparing holiday food at home comes the threat of food illnesses. To prevent foodborne diseases from ruining your holidays, keep in mind the following tips:
- Pick up your frozen turkey or ham last before checking out and driving home. Refrigerate or freeze immediately.
- To thaw, don't leave frozen meat on the counter, which leads to higher bacterial growth. Instead, place the covered meat in a shallow pan on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator, or if time is limited, place the plastic-wrapped mean in a pan of cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until it thaws.
- Never place the meat directly on the counter. Clean and sanitize the counter, cutting boards and your hands while handling raw foods.
- Use a separate thermometer to check the meat temperature, versus the pop-up thermometer included with the product.
- Refrigerate leftovers immediately after the meal is finished.
-- ARA content
Broccoli may lower lung cancer risk in smokers
The cancer preventive properties of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables appear to work specifically in smokers, according to data from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
According to the study, the protective effect of cruciferous vegetable intake by smokers ranged from a 20 percent reduction in risk to a 55 percent reduction in risk depending on the type of vegetable consumed and the duration and intensity of smoking.
Researchers said broccoli isn’t a therapeutic drug, and people who quit smoking will benefit more from the vegetables.
-- Roswell Park Cancer Institute
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one action for preventing hospital-acquired infections is better hand hygiene by medical staff, their patients and visitors.
Some other tips for patients:
- Ask for a report of infection rates from hospitals and clinics. Carefully choose a health care facility based upon its infection rates.
- Wash your own hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Ask your health care provider to wash his or her hands and/or change their gloves prior to being examined.
- Carry antibacterial wipes and wipe down anything that you might touch, or that might touch you.
- Ask your doctor to test you for MRSA at least one week prior to going into the hospital.
-- ARA content
Number to Know: 2.4 million
Early results from a federal survey suggest 2.4 million more people in 2007 said they had ever been tested for HIV than said so in 2006.
-- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A study attempting to measure the effect of TV fast-food ads found that a ban on such commercials would reduce the number of obese young children by 18 percent, and the number of obese older kids by 14 percent, researchers found.
According to wire reports, the researchers also suggested that ending an advertising expense tax deduction for fast-food restaurants could mean a slight reduction in childhood obesity.
The study is based in part on several years of government survey data from the late 1990s that involved in-person interviews with thousands of U.S. families. The researchers also looked at information about local stations in the 75 largest TV markets, including locally seen fast-food commercials and the size of viewing audiences.
A new study shows that when patients with macular degeneration focus on using another part of their visual field to compensate for their loss of central vision, their brain seems to compensate by reorganizing its neural connections. Age–related macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
While there is evidence with other tasks that suggests that the brain can reorganize itself, this is the first study to directly show that this reorganization in patients with retinal disease is related to patient behavior.
-- Georgia Tech
GateHouse News Service