Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW), founded by Black Mamas Matter Alliance, is a week of awareness, activism, and community-building aimed at amplifying the voices of Black Mamas. BMHW is celebrated annually in April during National Minority Health Month.Continue reading
We Want to Hear From You: Community Health Survey
Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) and Energizing Connections for a Healthier Oakland (ECHO) have launched a countywide community survey to gather residents’ views on key issues that affect health and wellness.Continue reading
Radon Test Kits Half Off During the Month of January
In honor of January being National Radon Action Month, Oakland County encourages residents to take action and test their homes for radon by offering radon test kits half-price ($5) all month.
What is radon you ask? Radon is a naturally occurring invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas that is usually harmless outdoors. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.Continue reading
RSV – It’s more than just a cold
As the temperatures turn colder, many of us are spending more time indoors. Colds, flu and other respiratory illnesses are more common in colder months. People are inside more often, allowing viruses to pass easily from one person to another. And the cold, dry air may help them spread. In addition, holidays are coming up when many of us will gather with family, friends, co-workers and loved ones.
You may have heard about RSV infections and associated emergency department visits and hospitalizations are on the rise, especially among infants and young children, with some U.S. regions nearing seasonal peak levels earlier than average.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious, especially for infants and older adults. It’s the most common cause of bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) and pneumonia in children younger than age one in the United States.
Watch now as Dr. Calandra Green, Oakland County Health Officer, and Dr. Russell Faust, Oakland County Medical Director, discuss RSV and how you can protect yourself and others:Continue reading
Keep Food Safety on Your Holiday Menu
The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s a great time to enjoy special meals with loved ones. Whether you’re a pro at hosting the holiday meal or this will be your very first time, it’s important to follow and practice food safety tips. Oakland County Health Division put together a helpful list of safety tips that includes cleaning, separating, cooking, and chilling your food.
- Clean: Wash your hands with soap and water before, during, and after preparing food.
- Separate: Keep meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods at the grocery store and in the refrigerator. Prevent juices from dripping or leaking onto other foods by keeping them in containers or sealed plastic bags.
- Cook: Cook food thoroughly. Meat, chicken, turkey, seafood, and eggs can carry germs that cause food poisoning. Use a food thermometer to ensure these foods have been cooked to a safe internal temperature. Keep food out of the danger zone between 40°F and 140°F where bacteria can grow rapidly. After food is prepared, keep hot food hot and cold food cold.
- Chill: Refrigerate or freeze any perishable food within 2 hours.
Holiday Meal Safety Tips:
Turkey and stuffing are festive favorites, but they come with additional food safety concerns. Keep your holidays healthy by following extra precaution when preparing and serving holiday staples and don’t forget the four steps to food safety for your entire feast.
Cooking a turkey requires planning and preparation; get started using these tips from the USDA.
- Buy the turkey a few days before you plan to cook it.
- Refrain from buying a pre-stuffed turkey. USDA recommends only buying frozen pre-stuffed turkeys that display the USDA or State mark of inspection on the packaging.
- Thaw turkey in the refrigerator, in a sink of cold water (change the water every 30 minutes), or in the microwave. Avoid thawing foods on the counter. A turkey must thaw at a safe temperature to prevent harmful germs from growing rapidly.
- Remember that thawing the turkey takes 24 hours in the refrigerator for every four to five pounds, and cold water thawing takes 30 minutes per pound.
- Be sure the turkey is completely thawed before cooking.
- Set the oven temperature no lower than 325 ºF.
- Place turkey breast-side up on a flat wire rack in a shallow roasting pan 2-2 1/2 inches deep.
- Cook stuffing separately from the turkey for optimum safety.
- Check the internal temperature with a food thermometer and ensure it is at least 165 ºF.
- Let the bird sit for 20 minutes before removing stuffing and carving.
The Partnership for Food Safety Education has a special section devoted to stuffing in their Talking Turkey guide.
- Cook all stuffing and dressing to a minimum temperature of 165 ºF, whether it is cooked inside or outside the bird. For optimum safety, cooking your stuffing in a separate casserole dish is recommended.
- Prepare and put stuffing in the turkey immediately before it’s placed into the oven.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients for the stuffing separately and combine just before using.
- Stuff the turkey loosely, about 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey.
- Bake any extra stuffing in a greased casserole dish.
Need more tips for preparing your feast? Call USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854. The Hotline is open year-round Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET (English or Spanish). USDA’s automated response system can provide food safety information 24/7 and a live chat during Hotline hours. Check out the Oakland County Health Division website for additional food safety tips.Continue reading