Food Poisoning Facts
What is Food Poisoning
When you consume food or drink that contains disease causing micro-organisms or their toxins, or poisonous chemicals, it can result in acute gastroenteritis or food poisoning. It mostly happens to people who frequent hotels, hostels, places of festivals etc. When a group of people suffer from similar symptoms after consumption of food a few hours before, we can safely conclude it as symptoms of food poisoning.
Food poisoning can be due to ingestion of food containing pathogenic bacteria or their toxins. It can also be due to presence of chemicals, fertilizers, etc in the food.
Though all bacteria are not harmful, the pathogenic bacteria secrete toxins, and when they are present in the food consumed, it can make you lose your cookies. Some find apple cider vinegar to be helpful in such cases.
Sources of Food Poisoning
· Impure water
· Unclean premises for food preparation
· People handling food not clean
· Raw materials may contain toxins.
· Food left in room temperature for a long time after preparation
· Rats, cats and dogs can contaminate food.
Food Poisoning Treatment
Bacteria and Food Poisoning
Salmonella bacteria are present in milk products, eggs etc and causes nausea and vomiting with occasional fever. The common varieties found are salmonella typhimurium, salmonella choleraesuis, and salmonella enteritidis.
Clostridium botulinum enters the human body through canned fish, pickles etc. It acts on the nervous system and causes double vision, weakness, followed by paralysis, cardiac and respiratory failure.
Staphylococcus aureus causes staphylococcal food poisoning. It causes mastitis in cows and through milk and milk products enter the human body resulting in gastroenteritis. It causes vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps.
Clostridium perfringens is present in water, soil and stool. It enters the body through meat, eggs etc. Similarly cooked food kept in open for a long time may result in food poisoning with symptoms including vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
How to Prevent Food Poisoning
1) Always use purified water.
2) The kitchen and cooking premises should be thoroughly checked for contamination sources.
3) Only healthy persons should be allowed to come into contact with food materials.
4) Food products should not be kept open, and should be stored in close containers.
5) People involved in cooking should wear masks, gloves etc to prevent food contamination.
6) Only fresh meat should be used and purchased from approved slaughter house.
7) Fruits and vegetables should be cleaned thoroughly before preparation.
8) Vessels used for cooking should be washed with hot water and soap.
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