Food Contamination - Choosing & Preparing Food (cont.)


  • Keep hot foods hot (140 F [60 C]) or higher and cold foods cold (about 40 F [5 C]) or lower.
  • Do not keep cooked food unrefrigerated or unfrozen for more than two hours.

Who's at Risk?

People with certain diseases and conditions need to be especially careful to follow safe seafood practices. Their diseases or the medicines they take may put them at risk for serious illness or death from contaminated seafood.

These conditions include:

  • liver disease, either from excessive alcohol use, viral hepatitis, or other causes
  • hemochromatosis, an iron disorder
  • diabetes
  • stomach problems, including previous stomach surgery and low stomach acid (for example, from antacid use)
  • cancer
  • immune disorders, including HIV infection
  • long-term steroid use, as for asthma and arthritis.

Older adults also may be at increased risk because they more often have these conditions. People with these diseases or conditions should never eat raw seafood--only seafood that has been thoroughly cooked.

(Source: National Fisheries Institute,

Last Editorial Review: 8/13/2002

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