It could happen to you
The Cobra Patrol’s chicken pot pie, impressively prepared in a Dutch oven and graciously shared with the adult patrol, looked delicious. It tasted pretty good, too. Several hours later, though, it hits you. And by “it,” we mean a food-borne illness that causes vomiting, fever, diarrhea or abdominal cramps.
What went wrong
It’s difficult to know for sure, but perhaps the chicken had spoiled or wasn’t fully cooked. Or maybe someone preparing the food was sick and forgot to wash his or her hands. Perhaps the food was prepared on an unclean surface or with dirty cookware or utensils.
While food-borne illnesses can strike at any time, they’re most common during the summer. When temperatures rise, it becomes tougher to keep fresh food from getting dangerously warm. Encourage your Scouts to keep their meals — and themselves — safe by following the three C’s: keep it Cold, keep it Clean and Cook it thoroughly.
Remember that everyone should wash their hands thoroughly with soap before, during and after preparing food, scrubbing them for at least 20 seconds. You should wash your hands also after using the toilet, blowing your nose and treating a cut.
If food poisoning symptoms progress into signs of dehydration, bloody bodily fluids or extreme pain, seek professional medical help.
Before your next campout, take our quiz to test your food-safety smarts.
Anyone who takes this quiz below will be entered to win a $100 scoutshop.org gift card. (Contest has ended as of May 1, 2018 — but you can still test your knowledge by taking the quiz. Take other quizzes here.)