Food Safety Can Be Crucial for People With Diabetes

Food Safety Can Be Crucial for People With Diabetes


SILVER SPRING, Md., Nov. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Did you know November is National Diabetes Month? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds people with diabetes (and those preparing food for them) about the importance of safe food handling in preventing foodborne illness.

Learn how to safely choose and prepare foods for people with diabetes in this free booklet:
Food Safety for Older Adults and People with Cancer, Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Organ Transplants, and Autoimmune Diseases.

Practicing food safety is important for everyone, but especially for people living with diabetes. They are more likely to get sick from bacteria that cause foodborne illness (often called “food poisoning”), and are more likely to be sicker for longer, be hospitalized, or even die. This increased risk is why food choices and safe food handling are so important in managing this chronic disease.

Make Wise Food Choices

Some foods are riskier for people with diabetes because they are more likely to contain harmful bacteria or viruses. In general, these foods fall into two categories: 

  • Uncooked fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Some animal products, such as unpasteurized (raw) milk; soft cheeses made with raw milk; raw or undercooked eggs, meat, poultry, fish and shellfish; luncheon meats; improperly reheated hot dogs; and salads containing animal products such as seafood, ham, or chicken that are prepared outside the home.

Follow the Four Steps to Food Safety

Anyone who is diabetic or who prepares food for people with diabetes should also carefully follow these steps:

  1. CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often. Bacteria can be spread throughout the kitchen and get onto hands, cutting boards, utensils, counter tops, and food.
  2. SEPARATE: Keep raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
  3. COOK to the right temperatures. Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products are cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria. (See Safe Minimal Internal Temperatures charts.)  Follow cooking instructions on packaged foods such as frozen vegetables.
  4. CHILL foods promptly. Cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure the refrigerator temperature is 40 degrees F or below and the freezer temperature is 0 degrees F or below.

Know the Symptoms

Dangerous foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness within 1 to 3 days. However, sickness can also happen within 20 minutes or up to 6 weeks later. Symptoms of foodborne illness include: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache, and body ache).

Take Action

If you think you or a family member has a foodborne illness, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Also, report the suspected foodborne illness to FDA in either of these ways:

Contact:  Media: 1-301-796-4540  Consumers: 1-888-SAFEFOOD (toll free)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Food Safety Can Be Crucial for People With Diabetes