Food Poisoning - What you need to know

published on: 03rd april, 2021

What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating spoiled, toxic, or contaminated food.

What causes food poisoning?

Salmonella Bacteria, E.Coli and Norovirus are the most common cause of food poisoning.

It is more likely to occur in uncooked or inadequately cooked foods.

Symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea, which may be watery or bloody
  • Fever

Risk Factors:

A weakened immune system: The immune system plays a major role in protecting against a foodborne illness; when your immune system is weakened, you become more vulnerable.

Improper food storage or handling: leaving prepared food at room temperature for more than two hours, or improperly cooking or reheating food increase the risk of foodborne illness.

Cross-contamination of food: Cross-contamination of food can occur when one contaminated food touches another or when a food comes in contact with a contaminated food preparation surface, such as a counter or cutting board.

Hand Hygiene: Anyone who handles food should wash their hands before handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets. It is easy to pass microbes from the hands into food.

When to seek doctor help:

  • If your symptoms are persistent or severe
  • If you have an underlying medical condition
  • Or if there are worrisome signs or symptoms (temperature greater than 100.4°F/38°C, severe abdominal pain, inability to eat or drink, bloody stool, or vomit)

Diagnosis:

  • Based on your symptoms
  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Blood test
  • Stool culture or examination for parasites

Treatment:

  • Drinking adequate fluids
  • Eating small, low-fat meals
  • Proper rest
  • Oral rehydration salts (ORS) for providing adequate hydration
  • Intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration

Prevention:

  • Clean- always Wash hands before cooking and eating
  • Separate. Separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from ready-to-eat foods
  • Cook. Cook food to the right internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Chill. Keep your refrigerator 40°F or below

 

Dr. Magdi Mohamed

Consultant - Emergency Medicine

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