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New Hampshire injury attorneys

NH Injury Attorneys: Foodborne Illnesses

Keep Foodborne Illnesses Away from Your Thanksgiving Table

According to the New Hampshire injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, each year 48 million people fall sick from foodborne illnesses. Of those, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. One in six Americans could get food poisoning this year alone.

Food Safety and the Civil Justice System, a recently published landmark study by the American Association for Justice, traces a growing number of serious foodborne illnesses to questionable practices by some large factory farms [download report]. Overcrowding and unsanitary conditions increase the chances of bacterial contamination entering the food supply. Overuse of pharmaceuticals and chemicals to prevent disease in livestock and produce have also been associated with the rise in “super bugs,” bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics. Diseased livestock, improperly handled produce and poor government oversight all add to the problem.

Contamination at this level won’t be prevented without the help of improved government oversight and a robust civil justice system that continues to hold wrongdoers accountable. You can, however, lessen the chances of food poisoning in your home as follows:

Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill

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While preparing any meal, the New Hampshire injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman encourage you to remember these four steps from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to keep bacteria away from food, utensils and yourself.

  1. Wash: Clean hands and surfaces often. Illness-causing bacteria can collect on hands, utensils and surface areas. Also wash fruits and vegetables, but not meats.
  2. Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate foods. Raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs can still spread harmful bacteria to ready-to-eat items if they aren’t kept separate. Use one cutting board for fresh produce and another for raw meat, poultry and seafood.
  3. Cook: Use a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of cooked foods. Check temperatures in several places to make sure that meat, poultry, seafood, eggs (or dishes containing eggs) are cooked to safe minimum internal temperatures as shown in the Safe Cooking Temperatures Chart.
  4. Chill: Illness-causing bacteria can grow in perishable foods in just two hours. Refrigerate foods promptly and properly, and throw out food before it begins to spoil.

    Tips for On-Time Turkey

    Is your Thanksgiving often interrupted by multiple trips to the grocery store, or worse yet, a bird that isn’t done when guests are ready to eat? What about sorting out all those leftovers? Well, then you should check out this handy guide from FoodSafety.gov with tips on how to streamline your schedule – from shopping to preparation to cooking to storing leftovers – and ensure a safe, delicious Thanksgiving dinner at your home.

    The United States of Thanksgiving

    New Hampshire injury attorneys

    The turkey is safely prepped and the kitchen is sparkling clean. What next?  The New York Times recently investigated something that all Americans can agree on – Thanksgiving dinner! Here are 52 recipes representing each state as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico. See what neighbors are cooking, or find a dish for guests traveling from afar. You might even add a new favorite to your annual feast!

    Happy Thanksgiving from the New Hampshire injury attorneys at the Law Office of Manning & Zimmerman, PLLC.

How Working Impacts Your Social Security Benefits

social security benefitsApplying for Social Security Benefits

Applying for Social Security benefits in New Hampshire and Massachusetts can take over a year. Many people who experience an injury or illness that makes them unable to work struggle with how to support themselves and their families while waiting for Social Security benefits. Some people find that while their medical impairments make them unable to work enough to support themselves, they are able to work on a limited basis.

Working while on or applying for Social Security may impact your eligibility for benefits or the amount you receive.

Working and SSDI

Those receiving SSDI benefits can earn up to $1,040 per month in 2013 and still receive the full Social Security disability monthly benefit. This amount of money is known as Substantial Gainful Activity “SGA.” Earning more than that amount can cause you to lose your benefits.

Individuals attempting to return to work, can earn any amount of money for up to 9 months in a 5 year period without losing their benefits. This period is called a Trial Work Period. Once the nine months of the trial work period are used up, earning even $1 more than SGA can result in losing benefits. In 2013 any month where a person earns more than $750 counts as a month of the trial work period. Each year the Social Security Administration posts the amount of earnings that triggers a trial work period. After more than the trial work period amount in 9 out of 60 months, the Social Security Administration will determine your average earnings over that period. If the amount is more than SGA, benefits may be terminated.

Working and SSI

If you are receiving SSI, your benefit will be reduced proportionately with your income. SSI also has a limit on the total amount of income you can receive which includes income you earn and income that you receive from sources other than work.

Generally, while working the first $85 dollars you earn each month is not counted. If you earn more than $85, your SSI benefit will be reduced by 50 cents for each dollar you earn. Social Security will send you a notice alerting you to changes in your benefits due to income that you earn.

If you are attempting to return to work while applying for or receiving Social Security benefits, you should speak with an attorney to determine how your benefits may be impacted.