Food poisoning occurs when you swallow food or water that contains bacteria, parasites, viruses, or toxins made by these germs. Most cases of food poisoning are from common bacteria such as Staphylococcus or E. coli. Food is a perishable commodity and requires careful handling and storage. Ingestion of contaminated food with harmful bacteria or microorganism causes food poisoning. Meat, chicken, fish, freshly prepared food etc are prone to contaminate, if proper care is not taken. Microorganisms like - salmonella, clostridium, staphylococcus, listeria etc are involved in food poisoning. Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating or drinking contaminated food. |
Microorganisms can contaminate food through either of the way – During growing the food, vegetables, fruits etc. During food handling - like while storing or transportation food get contaminated. Environmental contaminants like dirt, dust, parasites etc can damage the food grain While processing the food there are great chances of spoilage.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Food poisoning can affect one person or a group of people who all ate the same contaminated food. It more commonly occurs after eating at picnics, school cafeterias, large social functions, or restaurants.
The germs may get into the food you eat (called contamination) in different ways:
Meat or poultry can come into contact with bacteria from the intestines of an animal that is being processed
Water that is used during growing or shipping can contain animal or human waste
Food handling or preparation in grocery stores, restaurants, or homes
Food poisoning often occurs from eating or drinking:
Any food prepared by someone who does not wash their hands properly
Any food prepared using cooking utensils, cutting boards, and other tools that are not fully cleaned
Dairy products or food containing mayonnaise (such as coleslaw or potato salad) that have been out of the refrigerator too long
Frozen or refrigerated foods that are not stored at the proper temperature or are not reheated properly
Raw fish or oysters
Raw fruits or vegetables that have not been washed well
Raw vegetables or fruit juices and dairy products (look for the word "pasteurized," which means the food has been treated to prevent contamination)
Undercooked meats or eggs
Water from a well or stream, or city or town water that has not been treated
Many types of germs may cause food poisoning, including:
E. coli enteritis
Infants and elderly people are at the greatest risk for food poisoning. You are also at higher risk if:
You have a serious medical condition, such as kidney disease or diabetes
You have a weakened immune system
You travel outside of the United States to areas where you are exposed to germs that cause food poisoning
Pregnant and breastfeeding women have to be especially careful to avoid food poisoning
There are following symptoms of food poisoning -
After ingestion of contaminated food, symptoms can appear between 4 to 48 hrs. It depends on the type of contamination or the microorganisms present in it. Generally diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps are seen. Food poisoning can occur in old age people as well as in kids. It can be life threatening and requires attention.
One can follow some guidelines to avoid health problems caused due to food poisoning -
Raw food prior cooking must be stored at optimum temperature and must be thawed properly to avoid contamination. Raw food is very important in food preparation. One must take care while handling, storing raw food material Fruits and vegetables are perishable commodity and require more attention. Small damage to fruit or grain can spoil whole fruit if not handled properly. Fruits and vegetables must be stored under appropriate temperature before use. Under cooked meat, chicken, egg preparation must be avoided. As it can result in food borne illness. Heating or boiling destroys the organism and makes food safe for consumption. One must maintain personal hygiene while handling the food. Washing hands after using toilet, sneezing, coughing etc is very important. Use disinfectant before handling the food. Use of unpasteurized milk is not at all recommended. Pasteurization kill microorganisms present in milk and make it safe for consumption. Prepare your raw food for cooking. Properly stored raw food must be thawed, washed and cut properly to avoid contamination. Avoid use of damaged canned food. It is a indication of contamination of the food. Home canned food lack in sanitation can spoil the food. One must be cautious while making use of canned food.
For more information on diet, nutrition, health or fitness, contact DesiDieter Health and Diet Experts.
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