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Ailmemts & Remedies

Ptosis (eyelid)

Definition:-
Ptosis is an abnormally low position (drooping) of the upper eyelid. The drooping may be worse after being awake longer, when the individual’s muscles are tired. This condition is sometimes called “lazy eye“, but that term normally refers to amblyopia. If severe enough and left untreated, the drooping eyelid can cause other conditions, like amblyopia or astigmatism. This is why it is especially important for this disorder to be treated in children at a young age, before it can interfere with vision development.

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Ptosis refers to the drooping of an eyelid, and it affects only the upper eyelid of one or both eyes. The droop may be barely noticeable, or the lid can descend over the entire pupil. Ptosis can occur in both children and adults, but usually happens because of aging.

Causes:-
Ptosis (pronounced toe’ sis), or drooping of the upper eyelid, may occur for several reasons such as: disease, injury, birth defect, previous eye surgery and age. In most cases, it is caused by either a weakness of the levator muscle (muscle that raises the lid), or a problem with the nerve that sends messages to the muscle.

Children born with ptosis may require surgical correction of the lid if it covers the pupil. In some cases, it may be associated with a crossed or misaligned eye (strabismus). Left untreated, ptosis may prevent vision from developing properly, resulting in amblyopia, or lazy eye.

Patients with ptosis often have difficult blinking, which may lead to irritation, infection and eyestrain. If a sudden and obvious lid droop is developed, an ophthalmologist should be consulted immediately.

Ptosis occurs when the muscles that raise the eyelid (levator and Müller’s muscles) are not strong enough to do so properly. It can affect one eye or both eyes and is more common in the elderly, as muscles in the eyelids may begin to deteriorate. One can, however, be born with ptosis. Congenital ptosis is hereditary in three main forms. Causes of congenital ptosis remain unknown. Ptosis may be caused by damage/trauma to the muscle which raises the eyelid, or damage to the nerve (3rd cranial nerve (oculomotor nerve)) which controls this muscle. Such damage could be a sign or symptom of an underlying disease such as diabetes mellitus, a brain tumor, and diseases which may cause weakness in muscles or nerve damage, such as myasthenia gravis.

Classification:-
Depending upon the cause it can be classified into:

*Neurogenic ptosis which includes oculomotor nerve palsy, Horner’s Syndrome, Marcus Gunn jaw winking syndrome, IIIrd cranial nerve misdirection.

*Myogenic ptosis which includes myasthenia gravis, myotonic dystrophy, ocular myopathy, simple congenital ptosis, blepharophimosis syndrome

*Aponeurotic ptosis which may be involutional or post-operative.

*Mechanical ptosis which occurs due to edema or tumors of the upper lid

*Neurotoxic ptosis which is a classic symptom of envenomation by elapids such as cobras, or kraits. Bilateral ptosis is usually accompanied by diplopia, dysphagia and/or progressive muscular paralysis. Neurotoxic ptosis is a precursor to respiratory failure and eventual suffocation caused by complete paralysis of the thoracic diaphragm. It is therefore a medical emergency and immediate treatment is required.

*pseudo ptosis due to:1-Lack of lid support:Empty socket or atrophic globe. 2-Higher lid position on the other side: As in lid retraction

Signs and Symptoms:-
The causes of ptosis are quite diverse. The symptoms are dependent on the underlying problem and may include:

*Drooping lid (may affect one or both eyes)

*Irritation

*Difficulty closing the eye completely

*Eye fatigue from straining to keep eye(s) open

*Children may tilt head backward in order to lift the lid

*Crossed or misaligned eye

*Double vision

Detection and Diagnosis:-
When examining a patient with a droopy lid, one of the first concerns is to determine the underlying cause. The doctor will measure the height of the eyelid, strength of the eyelid muscles, and evaluate eye movements and alignment. Children may require additional vision testing for amblyopia.

Treatment:-
Ptosis does not usually improve with time, and nearly always requires corrective surgery by an ophthalmologist specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery. In most cases, surgery is performed to strengthen or tighten the levator muscle and lift the eyelid. If the levator muscle is especially weak, the lid and eyebrow may be lifted. Ptosis can usually be performed with local anesthesia except with young children.

Aponeurotic and congenital ptosis may require surgical correction if severe enough to interfere with vision or if cosmesis is a concern. Treatment depends on the type of ptosis and is usually performed by an ophthamolic plastic and reconstructive surgeon, specializing in diseases and problems of the eyelid.

Surgery is usually the best treatment for drooping eyelids. The surgeon tightens the levator muscles, and you come away with improved vision and appearance. In very severe cases involving weakened levator muscles, the surgeon attaches the eyelid under the eyebrow to allow the forehead muscles to substitute for the levator muscles in lifting the eyelid. Eyelid surgery is also known as blepharoplasty.

After surgery, the eyelids may not appear symmetrical, even though the lids are higher than before surgery. Very rarely, eyelid movement may be lost.

It is important to choose your surgeon carefully, since poorly done surgery could result in an undesirable appearance or in dry eyes from lifted eyelids not closing completely.

Before agreeing to ptosis surgery, ask how many procedures your surgeon has done. Also ask to see before-and-after photos of previous patients, and ask if you can talk to any of them about the experience.

Surgical procedures include:
———————————–
*Levator resection

*Müller muscle resection

*Frontalis sling operation

Non-surgical modalities like the use of “crutch” glasses to support the eyelid may also be used.

Ptosis that is caused by a disease will improve if the disease is treated successfully.

Ptosis Strips:
Ptosis strips from FCI Ophthalmics have been developed to treat frontalis suspension in patients with significant ptosis and poor levator functioning. FCI Ptose-Up strips are easy to place and adjust, and they provide an excellent eyelid contour. The strips are made of a biocompatible, porous, inert, biointegratable, non-toxic, ready to use, non-allergenic material. FCI ptosis strips can be removed in the case of overcorrection, or if the patient experiences dry eye problems as a result of treatment.

Ptosis in Children:
Children born with moderate or severe ptosis require treatment in order for proper vision to develop. Failure to treat ptosis can result in amblyopia (diminished vision in one eye) and a lifetime of poor vision.

All children with ptosis, even mild cases, should visit their eyecare practitioner every year. The eyes change shape as they grow, and sometimes focusing and visual problems develop, all because of the worsening ptosis.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.


Resources
:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptosis_(eyelid)
http://www.stlukeseye.com/conditions/Ptosis.asp
http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/droopinglids.htm
http://www.fci-ophthalmics.com/html/lid.html

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News on Health & Science

Liquid Smoking

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A sip of smoke to help drop the fag . A puff of cigarette may not be in vogue anymore with a sip promising the same smoking experience sans nicotine.
click & see

Called ‘Liquid Smoking‘ the drink has South African herbal extracts, say its Dutch manufacturers United Drinks and Beauty Corporation.

The drink has already been on sale for one year now in Netherlands and United Drinks hopes the product would be available in the UK before Christmas, The Telegraph reported recently.

“The manufacturers say it does not contain the drug nicotine but rather a mix of roots from South African plants which is said to give ‘a slight energising effect, followed by a euphoric sense of calming and relaxation,” the newspaper said.

‘Liquid Smoking’ would cost about 1.50 pounds in the shops and would have less than 21 calories in every 275 ml can.

Meanwhile, The Guardian in a recent report about the drink said, “Coming in a can reminiscent of a cigarette packet, it has a box proclaiming ‘no warning needed’ where a health warning would be on a packet of cigarettes“.

Quoting United Drinks Chief Executive Martin Hartman, The Telegraph said, “The product we (United Drinks) have developed has got similar properties to nicotine, so we are trying to help people out who are affected by the ban on nicotine.

People might use this instead of a cigarette or tobacco to help the cravings.”

Martin Hartman was further quoted as saying “it will take the edge off of a need for nicotine for between one to four hours… I think it will help people who feel the need for nicotine in bars, restaurants, long-haul flights and on the train,” Martin Hartman added.

Sources: The Times Of India

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Health Alert

Killers in packs

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Smoking was once considered macho, high-class and sophisticated. James Bond, Fidel Castro and socialites smoked publicly and elegantly. Now smoking has sunk way down in the etiquette scale and is socially unacceptable. Smoking in public places such as offices, trains and movie theatres is banned in many countries including India.  Cigarette packets carry the warning: “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health. Yet, there is no serious effort to implement a 2004 law banning the sale of cigarettes to minors. As a result, 7-8 per cent of teenagers in India use tobacco, as cigarettes, beedis or as chewing tobacco.

CLICK & SEE

Cigarettes are made up of finely shredded tobacco leaves and stem rolled in a special kind of paper. When smoked or chewed, tobacco provides the body with a rush of nicotine and around 600 other addictive, harmful and cancerous chemicals. These produce elation and euphoria. Eventually, the intervals between “fixes” become shorter and the number of cigarettes smoked increases.

Addiction to tobacco is both genetic and environmental. A preconditioned individual reared in a conducive environment will eventually become addicted.

As the tobacco smoke enters the lungs, it paralyses the cilia. (These are small hair-like projections from cells lining the airways and are responsible for removing foreign particles.) The smoke can then settle in the interior of the lungs, causing destruction and difficulty in breathing. Attempts to clear the material are futile and result in hacking and unproductive cough. There are repeated bacterial and viral infections. Oxygenation becomes insufficient. The person may go into heart failure and become permanently breathless.

The build up of toxins can eventually lead to cancers — in the lung, urinary tract, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach and blood (acute myeloid leukaemia).

In those who do not develop cancer, tobacco damages several organs. The teeth become yellow, plaque ridden, loosened from the sockets and may eventually fall. Conversation becomes difficult because of halitosis (bad breath). The bones weaken leading to early osteoporosis.

New evidence shows that the chemicals in tobacco alter the body metabolism, precipitating glucose intolerance and the changes associated with the metabolic syndrome X. Diabetes sets in, and the lipid levels are altered. Atherosclerotic plaques build up in the blood vessels, leading to heart disease, paralysis, stroke and vascular disease. The blocks in the peripheral vessels cause pain while walking and numbness, burning and tingling in the limbs.

The IQ (intelligence quotient) falls and the smoker’s cognitive skills decline faster than in non-smokers. This makes early dementia a very real possibility.

Women who smoke during pregnancy place themselves and their foetuses at great risk. They tend to have small babies. Also, there is a much higher incidence of abnormalities of the digits in the child. Fingers and toes may be more or less than normal or stuck together.

Non-smoking men and women who live in close contact with smokers suffer all the ill effects of smoking without the pleasures of addiction. Passive smokers are the single largest international group of victims of substance abuse.

More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol consumption, motor vehicle injuries, suicides and murders combined. Smoking causes diverse and silent deaths — an unpublicised form of slow suicide. The others diseases and causes of death receive far more media publicity.

Giving up smoking is not easy. As with all other addictions, it involves reconditioning of the body and the mind. Quitting has to be abrupt and overnight. There is no slow, weaning process.

Face-to-face interactive counselling on a one-is-to-one basis is very successful in motivating people to quit.

Medication to counter the urge to smoke is available in India. The sustained-release bupropion SR is a non-nicotine drug that supposedly reduces the craving by affecting the same chemical messengers in the brain that are activated by nicotine. It is expensive, the dosage has to be individualised, and it has to be taken for a prolonged period. Motivation and persistence are usually lacking in smokers, and thus the medication has not been a success in India.

Nicotine gum is available in some of the larger cities.

Most young smokers are convinced that they have the willpower to quit whenever they want to, but in reality 90 per cent are still smoking five years later. Many sincerely believe that complications will side step them and affect others!

It is never too late. Smokers who do manage to quit get a second lease of life. On average, they live longer and are healthier than those who continue the habit.

If you want to stop, grit your teeth and “just do it”.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Healthy Tips

Tips To Prevent Cold & Flu

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Keeping the Germs Away:
Chances are, when you’re burrowed under the covers with a box of tissues by your bedside, you turn even greener with envy thinking of those people who seem to never get sick. Want to be one of them?

We can’t promise you’ll never get hit with another cold or suffer another bout of the flu, but you can increase your odds of staying well with these strategies. If you do get sick, we’ve also included some tips for getting better faster.

While colds won’t kill you, they can weaken your immune system to the point that other, more serious, germs can take hold in your body. Just think how many times your cold turned into bronchitis or a sinus infection. And given that the average American adult suffers two to three colds a year, that’s a lot of opportunities for serious illness — and just as many to prevent one! There’s even more incentive to prevent the flu: Every year in the United States about 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 die from the flu or its complications.

1. Wash your hands and wash them often. The Naval Health Research Center conducted a study of 40,000 recruits who were ordered to wash their hands five times a day. The recruits cut their incidence of respiratory illnesses by 45 percent.

2. Wash your hands twice every time you wash them. When Columbia University researchers looked for germs on volunteers’ hands, they found one handwashing had little effect, even when using antibacterial soap. So wash twice if you’re serious about fending off colds.

3. Use this hand-drying strategy in public restrooms. Studies find a shockingly large percentage of people fail to wash their hands after using a public restroom. And every single one of them touches the door handle on the way out. So after washing your hands, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet. Use another paper towel to dry your hands, then open the door with that paper towel as a barrier between you and the handle. It sounds nuts, but it’s an actual recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control to protect you from infectious diseases like cold and flu.

4. Carry hand sanitizer with you. Colds are typically passed not from coughing or kissing (although those are two modes of transmission) but from hand-to-hand or hand-to-object contact, since most cold viruses can live for hours on objects. You then put your hand in or near your mouth or nose, and voilà! You’re sick. Carry hand sanitizer gel or sanitizing towelettes with you and you can clean your hands anytime, even if the closest water supply is 100 miles away. It works. One study of absenteeism due to infection in elementary schools found schools using the gel sanitizer had absentee rates from infection nearly 20 percent lower than those using other hand-cleaning methods.

5. Use your knuckle to rub your eyes. It’s less likely to be contaminated with viruses than your fingertip. This is particularly important given that the eye provides a perfect entry point for germs, and the average person rubs his eyes or nose or scratches his face 20-50 times a day, notes Jordan Rubin, Ph.D., author of the book The Maker’s Diet.

6. Run your toothbrush through the microwave on high for 10 seconds to kill germs that can cause colds and other illnesses. You think it gets your teeth clean — and it does. But once you’re done brushing, your toothbrush is a breeding ground for germs. Sterilize it in the microwave before you use it, or store it in hydrogen peroxide (rinse well before using), or simply replace it every month when you change the page on your calendar and after you’ve had a cold.

Prevention Is Key
7. Get a flu shot every fall. The Centers for Disease Control recommends flu shots for anyone 50 years old or older, residents of long-term care facilities, people of any age who have chronic medical problems (heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, etc.), pregnant women, and people whose immune systems have been weakened (by cancer, AIDS, or other causes). Also, people who work or live with a high-risk person should get a flu shot so they don’t spread the flu. Of course, anyone who just wants to avoid the flu should also get one. Hate shots? Ask for the nasal spray vaccine.

8. Stop blaming yourself when things go wrong at work. Believe it or not, blaming yourself makes you more likely to catch a cold! At least, that’s what researchers found when they studied more than 200 workers over three months. Even those who had control over their work were more likely to begin sneezing if they lacked confidence or tended to blame themselves when things went wrong. Researchers expect such attitudes make people more stressed on the job, and stress, as you know, can challenge your immune system.

9. Put a box of tissues wherever people sit. Come October, buy a 6- or 12-pack of tissue boxes and strategically place them around the house, your workplace, your car. Don’t let aesthetics thwart you. You need tissues widely available so that anyone who has to cough or sneeze or blow his nose will do so in the way least likely to spread germs.

10. Leave the windows in your house open a crack in winter. Not all of them, but one or two in the rooms in which you spend the most time. This is particularly important if you live in a newer home, where fresh circulating air has been the victim of energy efficiency. A bit of fresh air will do wonders for chasing out germs.

11. Lower the heat in your house 5 degrees. The dry air of an overheated home provides the perfect environment for cold viruses to thrive. And when your mucous membranes (i.e., nose, mouth, and tonsils) dry out, they can’t trap those germs very well. Lowering the temperature and using a room humidifier helps maintain a healthier level of humidity in the winter.

12. Speaking of which, buy a hygrometer. These little tools measure humidity. You want your home to measure around 50 percent. A consistent measure higher than 60 percent means mold and mildew may start to set in your walls, fabrics, and kitchen; lower than 40 percent and the dry air makes you more susceptible to germs.

13. Sit in a sauna once a week. Why? Because an Austrian study published in 1990 found that volunteers who frequently used a sauna had half the rate of colds during the six-month study period than those who didn’t use a sauna at all. It’s possible that the hot air you inhale kills cold viruses. Most gyms have saunas these days.

14. Inhale air from your blow-dryer. It sounds nuts, we know. But one study conducted at Harvard Hospital in England found that people who breathed heated air had half the cold symptoms of people who inhaled air at room temperature. Set the dryer on warm, not hot, and hold it at least 18 inches from your face. Breathe in the air through your nose for as long as you can — 20 minutes is best.

15. Take a garlic supplement every day. When 146 volunteers received either one garlic supplement a day or a placebo for 12 weeks between November and February, those taking the garlic were not only less likely to get a cold, but if they did catch one, their symptoms were less intense and they recovered faster.

Sneeze Brigade
16. Eat a container of yogurt every day. A study from the University of California-Davis found that people who ate one cup of yogurt — whether live culture or pasteurized — had 25 percent fewer colds than non-yogurt eaters. Start your yogurt eating in the summer to build up your immunity before cold and flu season starts.

17. Once a day, sit in a quiet, dim room, close your eyes, and focus on one word. You’re meditating, a proven way to reduce stress. And stress, studies find, increases your susceptibility to colds. In fact, stressed people have up to twice the number of colds as non-stressed people.

18. Scrub under your fingernails every night. They’re a great hiding place for germs.

19. Change or wash your hand towels every three or four days during cold and flu season. When you wash them, use hot water in order to kill the germs.

20. At the very first hint of a cold, launch the following preventive blitz. Here’s how:

Suck on a zinc lozenge until it melts away. Then suck another every two waking hours. Or use a zinc-based nasal spray such as Zicam.

Take one 250-milligram capsule of the herb astragalus twice a day until you are better.

Cook up a pot of chicken soup.

Roast garlic in the oven (drizzle whole clove with olive oil, wrap in tinfoil, roast for an hour at 400°F), then spread the soft garlic on toast and eat.

Studies find that all either reduce the length of time you suffer with a cold or help prevent a full-blown cold from occurring.

21. Wipe your nose — don’t blow. Your cold won’t hang around as long, according to a University of Virginia study. Turns out that the force of blowing not only sends the gunk out of your nose into a tissue, but propels some back into your sinuses. And, in case you’re curious, they discovered this using dye and X rays. If you need to blow, blow gently, and blow one nostril at a time.

22. Sneeze and cough into your arm or a tissue. Whoever taught us to cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze got it wrong. That just puts the germs right on our hands, where you can spread them to objects — and other people. Instead, hold the crook of your elbow over your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough if a tissue isn’t handy. It’s pretty rare that you shake someone’s elbow or scratch your eye with an elbow, after all.

23. Don’t pressure your doctor for antibiotics. Colds and flu (along with most common infections) are caused by viruses, so antibiotics — designed to kill bacteria — won’t do a thing. They can hurt, however, by killing off the friendly bacteria that are part of our immune defenses. If you’ve used antibiotics a lot lately, consider a course of probiotics — replacement troops for friendly bacteria.

From: Stealth Health

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Healthy Tips

Don’t Invite Food-Poisoning to Dinner

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Nothing can ruin the Thanksgiving holiday more than a bout of food poisoning. Because the health of everyone eating a meal depends on the actions of the cook, sloppy food preparation can result in a serious medical problem – twenty-five Americans will die today–and another 16,000 will become ill–from something they ate.

While the cause of some food borne illnesses is never found, more than 95% of diagnosable food poisonings can be traced to eating food that contains large numbers of tiny microorganisms called bacteria. Children are probably more susceptible to these agents for a variety of reasons, including lack of immunity and poor hygiene.

Like other living things, bacteria need food (they prefer dairy products, egg products, meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish), warmth, water to grow (a moist environment), and time to multiply (under ideal conditions, one bacterium can duplicate itself 2,097,152 times in seven hours.)

Only 3% of reported cases of food poisonings are caused by manufacturing errors. That means that most food borne illness comes from our own kitchen and restaurants.

Parents can think of food poisoning as a chain of events: there must be bacteria on the food, the microorganisms must have the right conditions to grow (warmth and moisture) and they must have the time to multiply.The Partnership for Food Safety Education has listed four steps to help break this chain of events and prevent food poisoning:

Keep Foods Clean

  1. Discourage anyone with an infectious disease from handling, preparing, or serving food.
  2. Work with clean hands, clean hair, clean fingernails, and wear clean clothing.
  3. Wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet, assisting anyone using the toilet, or changing diapers.
  4. Handle raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs as if they were contaminated. Even if they don’t start out with enough bacteria to make you sick, mishandling them could get you and your family in trouble. Wash hands with soap and water after touching raw meat, poultry, sea foods or eggs, before working with other food.
  5. Avoid using hands to mix foods when clean utensils can be used.
  6. Keep hands away from your mouth, nose, and hair.
  7. Avoid using the same spoon more than once for tasting food while preparing, cooking, or serving.
  8. Thoroughly clean all dishes, utensils, and work surfaces with soap and water after each use
  9. Thinking of becoming a vegetarian to avoid food poisoning? Think again. Food poisoning bacteria are also found in vegetables and fruits. Advice: wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly – even the part you will peel away
  10. Microwave your sponges on high for 30 to 60 seconds. That will keep them clean

Keep Food Separate

  1. Keep raw meat, eggs, poultry, or seafood and their juices away from ready to eat foods.
  2. Never place cooked food on an unwashed plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, eggs, or seafood.
  3. Use a different cutting board for fruits and vegetables.

Cook Food Adequately

  1. Cook all meat and poultry using a meat thermometer to insure proper temperature.
  2. Keep hot foods HOT (above 140 degrees F) and cold foods COLD (below 40 degrees F). Food may become unsafe if held for more than 2-3 hours at 60-125 degrees F, the zone where bacteria grow rapidly.
  3. Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm.
  4. Bad news for rare meat lovers: When cooking burgers, the center of patties and meat loaf should not be pink and the juices should run clear.
  5. Cook fish until it is opaque and flakes easily.
  6. Make sure leftovers are steaming hot before serving
  7. Never eat shellfish like oysters, clams, or mussels, unless they’ve been thoroughly cooked.
  8. Stuff raw poultry just before cooking it. Better yet, cook your poultry and stuffing separately.

Chill food Properly

  1. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food, and leftovers within two hours.
  2. The colder food is kept, the less chance bacteria have to grow. Use a thermometer to make sure your refrigerator is giving you good protection against bacterial growth. The refrigerator should register 40 degrees F or lower.
  3. Do not defrost food or marinate on the counter. Juices drip and bacterial multiply faster at room temperature. Defrost food and marinate in the refrigerator instead (and do not taste your food with the uncooked marinade unless you’ve cooked it). If microwave defrosting, cook food immediately.
  4. Keep uncooked ground meat and poultry in the refrigerator and cook or freeze within one or two days. Use or freeze meat and poultry stored in the refrigerator within three to four days.

It used to be that parents worried whether their dinner was going to taste good. Now they are wondering whether their dinner is going to be safe. Just like the security of everyone in the car depends on the performance of the driver, the health of everyone eating a meal depends on the actions of the parent or grandparent in the kitchen!

source: KidsGrowth.com