Fucoidan Health News June: Summer Safety Tips From Experts
Summer Safety Tips From Experts
“I have just completed chemotherapy and it’s summer! I’d like to go swimming to cool myself down. Is it safe to go?”
“How do I store food properly and avoid an upset stomach or food poisoning?”
These are a few of the most commonly encountered problems in summer. Most people are aware of the effects caused by global warming. As the summer heat keeps worsening, hot summer days can be challenging for both healthy individuals and cancer patients. Umi no Shizuku’s interview with Dr. Daisuke Tachikawa, an expert on food safety, discusses safe and healthy food handling, along with summer tips for cancer patients. So you can experience a safe and healthy summer!
Three top tips for summer food safety
- Cook your food thoroughly
- Separate raw and cooked foods
- Bringing ingredients home
It is always safest to eat well-cooked foods, especially poultry, eggs, and seafood.
Meat: If you have a kitchen thermometer, cook meat to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F), as recommended by the FDA. It’s safe to eat at this temperature. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, observe the change of color in the meat instead. Once the meat is cooked thoroughly, it shouldn’t be pink or red inside. The juices should be transparent when you pierce the thickest part with a fork.
Seafood: Your fish is ready to eat when it is opaque and easy to debone. Shellfish, such as clams and mussels should be boiled until the shells open on their own.
Handle and store cooked and uncooked food such as raw meat and vegetables separately. Raw food often contains viruses and germs that can easily multiply and contaminate cooked food. Depending on the produce (fruits and vegetables) type, you can store them in a perforated plastic bag, zip-top plastic bags, reusable silicone pouches, and airtight containers.
When shopping your grocery, choose to purchase canned food, rice, or noodles before getting vegetables and fruits — followed by meat and dairy products. We also recommend bringing your own insulated bag with an ice pack to reduce bacterial growth on your fresh ingredients. If you are driving home, try to put your groceries under the front seat instead of the rear compartment.
Summer safety tips for cancer patients
- Avoid excessive sun exposure
- Stay hydrated
- Swim with care
- Wear a wig in summer
- All wigs can be hot and itchy in summer. Opt for those made of lightweight synthetic materials.
- Apply a little cornstarch baby powder on your scalp and spread it evenly before putting on the wig. Cornstarch can efficiently absorb sweat and oil, leaving you feeling fresh.
- Put antiperspirant stickers on the lining of the wig to absorb sweat from your head. Apply 2-3 sheets at a time, and replace them from time to time.
- Heat-relieving (or antipyretic) stickers are useful for absorbing and dissipating heat effectively. Apply one on your forehead before going out in the sun to reduce body heat.
After receiving chemotherapy and electrotherapy, patients’ skin can be more fragile and vulnerable to UV damage than the skin of healthy individuals. Hence, it is recommended to wear a hat and sunglasses.Also, carry an umbrella, and wear long-sleeved clothing when going out in the sun. Wearing a hat is particularly important for people with hair loss or undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck cancer.
Our body loses more fluids in hot weather. Needless to say, everyone should drink more water to avoid health risks caused by dehydration or heatstroke. In addition, cancer patients can get dehydrated easily due to side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea caused during treatment. So, it is crucial to drink enough water, fresh fruit juice or eat juicy fruits, or drink green tea to stay hydrated.
Cancer patients undergoing treatment are more likely to be infected with germs in the water because of their low immunity. Also, patients who are undergoing radiation therapy have more fragile skin that can be easily irritated by chlorine in the water. If you really do want to go swim, talk to your doctor to ensure there is a safer option.
We hope the above tips are helpful to you in beating the summer heat. Don’t forget to stay cool, protect yourself from the sun and stay well hydrated while enjoying the sunshine and summer season! May you and your family have a happy and healthy summer!