Kitchen and Food Safety

Kitchen and Food Safety

In Cuyahoga County the most common food-borne illness is Norovirus. It is highly contagious. The most common symptoms of Norovirus are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. Regular, thorough hand washing with warm soapy water helps to prevent the spread of this disease and many others. Helpful hints below will guide storage and preparation of foods to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Where should I store food in my refrigerator?

  • Keep your raw food at the bottom of your refrigerator and keep separate from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Keep your refrigerator at 40 F or colder.

How do I know if my food is completely cooked?

  • Use a probe thermometer.
  • Cook all poultry, stuffed meat, stuffed fish, and exotic meats to 165° F.
  • Cook ground beef, ground pork, and raw egg dishes to 155° F.
  • Cook fish and all other foods to 145°F.

What can I do to be sure that the food I serve is safe?

  • Keep your refrigerator below 41°F.
  • Don’t leave food on the table for more than 4 hours.
  • Remember keep hot food hot and cold food cold.

What should I do with leftovers?

  • Refrigerate all leftovers immediately.
  • Throw out after 5 days in the refrigerator.

Thaw food:

  • In the refrigerator
  • Under cold running sink water
  • As part of the cooking
  • In the microwave for right away cooking

Camila Faria, APRN-CNP, MSN, RN Joins Southwest Family Physicians

Camila Faria, CNP, FNP-BC, MSN, RN

Camila Faria aspired to work in healthcare since she was sixteen years old and took her first biology class. Her passion for science and helping others led her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology and then in nursing. While working as a heart failure and epilepsy nurse, Camila realized her desire to learn more about medicine and went back to school to obtain her master’s degree and become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Camila was actually a patient at Southwest Family Physicians since she was eight years old, and when it came time to choose a place of work there was no doubt that this was the place for her. She was honored to be part of a team of caregivers that practice with kindness and empathy.

She enjoys traveling to Brazil to visit her family, spending time with her dog, weight training at the gym, and playing guitar.

Her full bio can be found under our “Staff” section of the website.

Michele Prezenkowski, APRN-CNP, MSN, RN is Our Newest Nurse Practitioner

Michele Prezenkowski, MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Michele Prezenkowski is the newest nurse practitioner to join Southwest Family Physicians. Not a stranger here at the office, Michele has been our registered nurse for the past 7 years and recently completed graduate school to fulfill her dream of becoming a family nurse practitioner. She joins our group of practitioners in providing exceptional, family-oriented care.

Michele obtained her nursing degree from Cuyahoga Community College in 1998. She began her career in critical care and the emergency department. In 2006, she graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and soon after became a district health coordinator within a public school system focusing on management, leadership and policy. Michele joined SWFP as our office nurse in 2011 and in 2018 graduated Magna Cum Laude from Ohio University with her Master’s Degree in Nursing as a Family Nurse Practitioner and is certified through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. This specialty focuses on care across the lifespan including pediatrics, adolescents, adults and older adult populations.

Michele enjoys spending time with her three children, traveling, and running. She is excited to join Southwest Family Physicians and to be able to provide exceptional care and promote wellness across the population.

Her full bio can be found under our “Staff” section of the website.

Prescription Medicine Safe Storage and Disposal Guide

Open Prescription Container

Safe Storage

  • If children are around, find an area that you can lock up your medicines such as a cabinet or drawer with a lock on it. Ingestion of medication is a leading cause of poisoning in children.
  • Lock up any controlled substances that have been prescribed to you.
  • Keep your medicines separate from those of your spouse and family members making it less likely that you take the wrong ones by mistake.
  • Store your medicine in an area that is cool and dry. Since heat and humidity can damage your medication, do not store medication in a bathroom unless it is well ventilated.
  • Every 6 months do an inventory of your medications; check the expiration date on the bottle, look for medicines that are discolored, crumbling, or show other signs that they are past their prime. Keeping old medication can be dangerous. Old prescriptions can cause confusion and can be deadly if they get in the wrong hands.

Safe Disposal

  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or sink.
  • Follow the steps below:
    1. Take unused, unneeded ,or expired medication out of their original containers and throw the containers in the trash.
    2. Make the medicine unusable.
      • Crush or dissolve pills with a small amount of water.
      • Mix them with undesirable substances such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter.
      • Absorb liquid medication with flour or table salt.
    3. Then place the unusable medication in impermeable containers, such as cans or sealable bags and place the container in your household trash.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The Flu Ends with U!

Tea Cup and Tissues

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu usually comes on suddenly with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Flu season mainly occurs in the fall and winter with peaks between December and February.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a yearly flu vaccine to protect against influenza. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. It is recommended to receive the flu vaccine by the end of October however receiving a flu vaccine during any part of flu season can be beneficial. Children under 5 years old, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, and people 65 years and older are at high risk of flu complications.

To help stop the spread of germs frequently wash your hands with soap and water and avoid close contact with sick people. If you are ill, limit contact with others. Make sure to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing. Frequently disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs such as door knobs, faucets, and tables.

Our office has flu shots available.

Call 440-816-2761 to schedule your flu shot today!