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Potato Food Posioning
#5: Potatoes…

108 outbreaks, over 3,600 illnesses reported.

Potato salad is one of the most popular dishes at picnics and parties. But it can also carry germs like Shigella and Salmonella – not exactly what you want to serve your guests! If cooked potatoes are not cooled down properly, germs can grow in them for extended periods of time. Couple these improperly cooled potatoes with mayo or oil, and you have a perfect breeding ground for germs to go nuts in before you put it all into your stomach.

Salmonella poisoning can cause vomiting, diarrhea (including bloody diarrhea), and fever. Shigella symptoms are usually diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, chills, feeling "out of sorts," headache, and fever. These are not the memories you want to have of that picnic.

Best thing to do? If you make your own potato salad, cool down the cooked potatoes to 41 ° F (4.4 ° C) BEFORE you mix in the other ingredients, and then put it back in the refrigerator right away! And if you buy pre-made potato salad, make sure that it stays cold. Other potato foods should also be treated carefully. You’ll find preparing potato salad and other recipes in more detail on our page about food safety preparation, but make sure to check out our picnic page, too.

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