Preventing foodborne illness - JASE Medical

Planning a Trip Abroad? Avoid Being Detained(or worse) When Traveling With Your Prescription Medications

The Transportation Safety Association (TSA) reported a record number of air travel over the fourth of July weekend this year, with one day counting over 2.8 million screenings, surpassing even pre pandemic numbers. With travel restrictions lifted, many are taking advantage of travel to domestic and foreign destinations.

Careful planning, research and preparation will make your trip enjoyable and can avoid delays and even being detained (and according to the CDC- fines and possible jail time) from entering a country. International travel medications rules are really not much different than flying cross country. each country has specific rules and regulations, just as each state has its specific aws and rules.  

Tips when traveling with medications

Plan

Each country has its own laws related to medicines. Medicines that are commonly prescribed or available over the counter in the United States might be unlicensed or considered controlled substances in other countries. While rules vary by country, there can be serious consequences if you violate the laws at your destination. (fines or even jail)

Check CDC travelers health website for complete list of countries health advisories and other information regarding permitted medications.

In addition to travel health advisories, the State Department has a list of countries for general advisories (Safety, etc) that you may want to review.

At least one month before your trip, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Obtain a written list of your medications and what you need them for. This is especially true for injectable items such as EpiPens and prefilled insulin pens. Security in other countries may not be familiar with these devices and may detain and question you. In addition to injectables, any special equipment, such as cpap machine, obtain a note from your care provider as to what the device is and why you need it.

Fill all prescriptions and bring extra. Even with the best executed plan, delays and emergencies happen. Be sure you have extra medication with you on your trip.

Keep medications in their original containers if able and them keep with you. Exemptions to the 3-ounce liquid rule apply to prescription medications. Don’t check in any drugs that you may need in the event that your luggage is lost or delayed.

Check your health insurance- are you covered when in another country? Have a copy of your insurance policy on your phone or in  paper form and keep it with you. If your health insurance policy doesn’t cover you in a foreign land, look into a health insurance policy for the duration of your trip. A quick Google search brought up some reputable insurance companies, such as Blue Cross that offers travel health insurance. Do your research.

If you get sick or need medical attention while abroad, check out this list of embassies that can help you locate medical help. Also, check with  The American Board of Medical Specialists for authoritative reference on physicians abroad.

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Be proactive about possible health emergencies. Have a stock of pain relievers, antihistamines, antidiarrheal, motion sickness, and fever reducing meds along with a basic first aid kit for minor injuries and illnesses. For that added layer of insurance, bring your Jase emergency antibiotics kit. It could save you a trip to a hospital or clinic. (food poisoning, urinary tract infection, infected wound, mosquito borne illness,etc.)

Other health related tips

Avoid drinking water from other countries, this includes water served on airplanes. To avoid waterborne illness, drink only bottled or treated water. If you go to a restaurant and the area is known for questionable water quality, avoid salads and any food rinsed in water along with ice in drinks. After using restroom, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Make it a habit to use sanitizer liberally and often.

Carry electrolyte powder if traveling or exercising in hot and/or humid country. Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and even heat stroke. Also, dress appropriately for your outings. Wear broad brimmed hat, long sleeved light cotton shirt and avoid mid-day excursions and activities if hot weather is an issue. Plan trips early in the day,

Insect repellant/mosquito repellent- if in malaria endemic country apply mosquito repellant often and liberally. Doxycycline, one of the Jase emergency antibiotics, is one of the first line drugs that can treat malaria. It is a widely prescribed prophylactic when traveling in maria infested areas.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

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Have a Fun and Safe 4th of July by Doing These 2 Things

July 4th is celebrated and remembered by parades, picnics, camping or staying home for a “staycation. Many fond memories of fireworks displays and activities are also part of the 4th  and are longstanding traditions in many communities. Children and adults alike love to set off cones, sparklers, spinners, smoke bombs and more in neighborhood streets once the dark of the evening sets in. Picnics are a popular pastime where the grill is fired up and hot dogs, hamburgers and chicken are cooked. Somehow, food always tastes better when eaten outdoors.

Food and fireworks, the two cornerstones of many community’s 4th  festivities. Play it safe by avoiding foodborne illnesses and firework related injuries.

Fireworks dos and don’ts

(Excerpt from Consumer Product Safety Division)

Fireworks injuries both before, during and after the 4th of July according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission firework injuries increased by 25% from 2006 and 2021. This included 11,500 injuries in 2021. In 2022 firework injuries claimed 11 deaths.

  • Firecrackers accounted for the highest number of injures last year, with 1,300 people injured. Sparklers were also a cause, with 600 injuries in 2022.
  • 73% of injuries occurred in the weeks before or after the Fourth of July.
  • The parts of the body most often injured by fireworks were hands and fingers (an estimated 29 percent of injuries) along with head, face, and ears (an estimated 19 percent); legs (an estimated 19 percent); and eyes (an estimated 16 percent)
  • Burns were the most frequently estimated type of injury, making up 38% of all emergency department-treated fireworks injuries.

Most fireworks injuries and deaths are preventable. CPSC urges consumers to celebrate safely this holiday by following these safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit—hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy, in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area, and only purchase and set off fireworks that are labeled for consumer (not professional) use.
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

One vivid (and painful) memory I have of a firework injury as a child- I ran into the street to get a sparkler from my dad. I was barefoot and stepped on a discarded sparkler that had been tossed to the ground. I add to the above list- wear proper shoes when using fireworks!

Practice food safety this 4th

No one wants to be sick, especially in the summer. Preventing foodborne illnesses is easy, by taking a few precautions and prior planning.

The following are the 3 most common forms of food poisoning according to the CDC. There are many more listed and can be found here

  1. Norovirus, commonly called the sotomach flu, has no relation to influenza virus is found in fresh fruits and vegetables along with seafood tops the list. Symptoms usually start anywhere from 12-48 hours after eating contaminated food
  2. Salmonella bacteria cause about 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths in the United States every year. The CDC reports recent outbreaks tied to flour, peanut butter, salami sticks, onions, prepackaged salads, peaches, and ground turkey. Symptoms can start anywhere from 6 hours to 6 days from eating contaminated food.
  3. Clostridium perfringens bacteria are one of the most common causes of food poisoning. CDC estimates that the bacterium causes nearly 1 million foodborne illnesses in the United States every year. Symptoms usually start from 6 to 24 hours after eating contaminated food. Foods commonly linked to C. perfringens food poisoning include: Poultry-chicken and turkey, beef, pork and gravy.

As you can see, foodborne illnesses can take days to develop. You may not even recognize it as such.

Most foodborne illnesses clear up on their own, however symptoms can be life threatening. Dehydration and other complications need to be dealt with as soon as possible if foodborne illness is suspected.

Salmonella, for example, can be treated with an antibiotic if the symptoms are severe. Ciprofloxacin, one of the antibiotics in the Jase Case is recommended to treat severe salmonella poisoning. Having emergency medications such as the Jase Case brings peace of mind.

Preventing foodborne illness

The USDA has a fantastic food keeper app for the safe storage and shelf life of many different foods

No matter what type of food you are preparing the most important first steps are to thoroughly wash hands and prevent cross contamination.

Always wash hands for 20 or more seconds before, during and after handling any food.

Wash hands, utensils, cutting boards after preparing food in hot soapy water. Prevent cross contamination by thoroughly cleaning surfaces in between food items. For instance, if grilling chicken, meat, fish or pork use a separate cutting board to prepare. Store meat, fish, pork and chicken in a separate compartment of refrigerator to prevent juices leaking over other food items. Thoroughly rinse fruits and vegetables under running water. Use separate knives and cutting boards-ones not used in

Meat Handling Safety

Excerpt from USDA site on grilling and storing meat

  • Preheat your grill and scrub the grate with a long-handled brush once the grill has fully preheated. Remnants from the last grill session should scrape off.
  • Remove the meat, poultry or seafood from its container and place on the grill at a safe distance apart. Discard any marinade used to prepare your meat, poultry or seafood.
  • When grilling your foods, make sure you’ve destroyed dangerous bacteria by cooking to the proper internal temperature.
  • Beef, pork, lamb: 145 F with a 3-minute rest.
  • Ground meats: 160 F.
  • All poultry (whole or ground): 165 F.
  • Fish (whole or filet): 145 F.
  • You can’t tell by looking at food whether it is done. Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food to determine if it is safe to eat. The thermometer should be inserted into the thickest part of the meat and poultry, through the side of burgers and thin filets of fish, for the most accurate temperature reading.
  • Make sure to pack up any leftovers and refrigerate them within two hours. In hot weather (above 90 F), refrigerate within one hour.

Above all, We at Jase Medical wish you all a fun and safe 4th!

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

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(Part 1 of 2) What was the Carrington Event of 1859? Named after amateur astronomer Richard Carrington, who discovered a coronal mass ejection (CME) headed for earth in the early morning hours of September 1, 1859. On that fateful morning, telegraph communications...

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Our mission is to help you be more medically prepared. Join our newsletter and follow us on social media for health and safety tips each week!