2019 Monthly Publications

Prepare for Influenza Season - December 2019

Holiday Food Safety - November 2019

Improving Health Literacy - October 2019

Safe Refrigeration Storage - September 2019

A Healthy Diet For Breastfeeding Moms - August 2019

Healthy Eating Tips for Summer - July 2019

How Fatigue Impacts Safety - June 2019


Prepare for Influenza Season - December 2019

RCPH encourages you to prepare for the influenza (flu) season. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:

· Cough

· Sore throat

· Runny or stuffy nose

· Muscle or body aches

· Headaches

· Fatigue

· Fever or feeling feverish/chills

· Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu viruses are primarily spread by droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking. Less often, a person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes, or nose. Individuals can help prevent the spread of flu by remembering to:

· Wash your hands: Handwashing remains one of the most important lines of defense against illness.

· Cover your cough: Use a tissue to cover your cough or sneeze to limit the spread of the virus. If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.

· Stay home if ill: It is recommended that individuals ill with fever should stay home from work or school and avoid other people until they are fever free for at least 24 hours.

· Get vaccinated: An influenza vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get the flu.


The Myth of the “Stomach Flu”

Viral infections, such as norovirus, cause vomiting and diarrhea and are commonly referred to as “stomach flu.” Influenza viruses primarily causes respiratory, not gastrointestinal illness, and influenza vaccine will not protect against the “stomach flu.” Reduce your risk of both illnesses by washing your hands regularly and staying home if you are ill.


Holiday Food Safety - November 2019

Many of us get together with friends and family for holiday events, and food is a big part of these gatherings. RCPH would like to offer some food safety tips to help avoid food-related illnesses that will spoil the festive atmosphere.

  • Remember to clean your hands with soap and warm water before handling the food, after handling the food, and before eating the food.
  • Clean surfaces before and after preparing food on them.
  • Separate raw meats and seafood from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Do not eat raw cookie dough or batter. If your dish contains raw eggs, be sure they are pasteurized.
  • After cooking, keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Bacteria can grow rapidly at room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze any perishable food within 2 hours.
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure foods are cooked to a safe internal temperature.

Internal Temperatures

  • Poultry 165°F
  • Seafood 145°F
  • Roasts/Steaks/Chops 145°F
  • Ground beef /sausages 155°F
  • Hold all hot food at 135°F


Improving Health Literacy - October 2019

October is Health Literacy Month. Health literacy is a person’s ability to obtain and understand health information and services to ensure they can make appropriate decisions about their health. This can affect how well an individual is able to complete paperwork, access a healthcare provider, engage in preventative activities, and accurately discuss health history with their provider. Follow the tips below to increase your own health literacy:

1. Write down information from your doctor’s appointments including diagnosis, treatment, and follow up instructions.

2. Ask your doctor, nurse, and pharmacist to use familiar language or clarify medical terminology in a way that makes sense to you.

3. Do not be afraid to ask questions if something is unclear. Know who to call if you have questions once you return home.

4. Let your doctor or caregiver know if you cannot understand what they are telling you about your health. If the information is confusing, ask for written materials in plain language.

5. Ask a friend or family member to come to appointments with you to ask questions and take notes.


Safe Refrigeration Storage - September 2019


A Healthy Diet For Breastfeeding Moms - August 2019


Healthy Eating Tips for Summer

Summer is here and for many people that means barbecue season. Follow these tips to keep your menu healthy!

1. Choose local, seasonal produce for the best quality and nutritional value. This is also a great way to save money on fresh produce.
2. Choose cooking methods such as grilling, roasting, sautéing, or steaming to preserve nutrient value. Shorter cooking times and using less water help vegetables to retain their nutrients.
3. When grilling meats, be sure to meet the internal temperature guidelines: 165° for poultry, 155° for ground meat, and 145° for whole cuts of beef and pork or seafood.
4. Aim for a variety of colors on your plate to ensure you are getting a variety of vitamins and minerals in your diet.
5. Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water and include foods with a high water content in your diet, such as cucumbers, melon, tomatoes, and celery.


How Fatigue Impacts Safety

June is National Safety Month. Fatigue is a common issue that plagues millions of workers across the country. More than 43% of workers are sleep-deprived which can affect safety and overall health status. Chronic sleep deprivation can cause depression, obesity, and cardiovascular disease among other illnesses. Being sleep deprived also impairs driving at an equivalent rate of drinking alcohol. Workers who work irregular shifts, night shifts, or extended hours are at a higher risk of chronic sleep deprivation and its effects. Specifically, night shift workers experience disruptions in cortisol and melatonin levels which affect sleep quality and increase fatigue. Fatigue can also impact performance at work by impairing short-term memory, ability to concentrate, reaction time, performance speed, accuracy, alertness, and judgement.

Losing a small amount of sleep each night over a long period of time is equivalent to losing large amounts of sleep over a short period of time. For instance, if a person only sleeps 6 hours per night, those 2 missed hours accumulate into a larger sleep “debt” and translates to chronic sleep deprivation. You can avoid fatigue by following a few simple tips. First, aim for 8 hours of sleep per night. Children and teens need more than this, while older adults may need less. Second, try to align your natural body clock with your work schedule and be consistent with your sleep and awake times. Third, use blackout curtains to keep your bedroom dark and promote restful sleep. Last, talk to your doctor about getting screened for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.