Food poisoning is an illness triggered by eating foods that have harmful organisms in them. These harmful germs can include viruses, bacteria and parasites. They are mostly found in raw meat, fish, chicken, and eggs, but they can spread to any type of food. They can also breed on food that is left out on counters or outdoors or is stored too long before you eat it. Sometimes it happens when people do not wash their hands before they touch food. |
Most of the time, it is mild and goes away after a few days. But some types of it may be more severe, and you may need to see a doctor.
Symptoms: • diarrhea • feel sick to your stomach • vomit • stomach cramps • high fever • blood in your stool • dehydration • a dry mouth • feeling lightheaded • passing only a little dark urine
Causes: • It is normal to find bacteria in the intestines of healthy animals that we use for food. Sometimes the bacteria get blended up with the parts of those animals that we eat. • If the water used to irrigate or wash fresh vegetables and fruits have germs from human sewage or animal manure in it, those germs can get on the vegetables and fruits. • When someone who has germs on his or her hands comes in contact with the food, or if the food touches other food that has germs on it, the germs can propagate.
Treatment: • Food poisoning in most cases goes away on its own in 2 to 3 days. The most you need to do is rest and get plenty of fluids to preclude dehydration from diarrhea. • Drink a cup of water or rehydration drink (such as Pedialyte) each time you have a loose, large stool. Fruit juices and soda have too much sugar and should not be utilized to rehydrate. • Doctors recommend trying to eat normally as soon as possible. When you can eat without puking, try to eat the kind of foods you normally do. But try to stay away from foods that are high in sugar or fat. • Antibiotics are normally not utilized to treat it. Medicines that stop diarrhea (antidiarrheals) can be helpful, but they should not be given to young children and infants. • You should not consume antidiarrheals if you have high fever or blood in the diarrhea, because they can make your illness worse.
If you think you are badly dehydrated, you may need to go to the hospital. And in some serious cases, such as for botulism or E. coli infection, you may require medical care right away.
Prevention: • Wash your hands often and always before you touch food. Keep your cutting boards, knives, and counters clean. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables. • Keep germs from raw meat from getting on vegetables, fruits, and other foods. Put cooked meat on a clean platter, and not back on the one that held the raw meat. • Make sure that meat, fish, chicken, and eggs are fully cooked. • Refrigerate leftovers right away. Do not leave cut vegetables and fruits at room temperature for a long time. • When in doubt, throw it out.
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