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Updated on August 16, 2012

You can’t be so sure that the food you eat is clean and safe. The part of the body that is mostly affected is the digestive system and other gastro-intestinal complaints. Foodborne illness is cause by the kind of food we eat. If there is contamination of food supply, the microbes proliferate and take its toll to the condition of the intestines.

Bacteria, virus and parasites are the culprit. The bacteria are Escherichia coli 0157:H7. Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium botulinum and other known causes. This organism is there in the food we eat contaminating it before the preparation of the meal in the kitchen. They were abundant in meat, milk, other dairy products, chocolate, sea foods and water. It also includes those fruits and vegetable juices that are not unpasteurized, raw or undercook eggs and others.

Vibrio vulnificus and Salmonella are abundant in raw sea foods, oysters, mussels, clams, scallops.

Careless handling of foods is one attribute for the growth of food-borne bacteria. Another reason is improper cooking. A hot and cold foods if allowed to expose in the air without covering it or left standing for quite a period of time in room temperature may lead to contamination, an ideal place for them to live and multiply. Another reason is the kitchen tools used like cutting boards, utensils, knives, etc. Foods that are easy for contamination are animal meats (raw) by not cleaning it thoroughly.

If a person is caught with food-borne illness, he has the following symptoms: abdominal cramping, fever, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, severe exhaustion, blood or pus in the stools. The degree of infection will depend on the kind of organism that contaminates the foods. The effect of the bacterial infection will start after half an hour. It may be life-threatening or long-lasting. Most affected with the illness are children, aged persons, those having present health conditions.

Some of the health conditions are those that has liver disease caused by excessive use of alcohol, those that has iron disorder. Diabetes may also be the reason, those that has stomach problem, cancer and immune disorder. Vomiting and diarrhea episode were common. So, it is important to have liquid intake to replace those fluid that was lost during diarrhea.

In order for you to be safe with the illness, observe the following:

-When buying in supermarket, give priority to packed and canned goods.

-Avoid buying cans that the lid is bulging, it might have contamination inside the can.

-Avoid cracked jars for possible re-entry of bacteria.

-Avoid eating raw shellfish. Cook it properly.

-Pasteurized milk is best to be taken.

-Select eggs that are clean, refrigerated and no signs of crack.

-Perishable food (meat, fish and poultry) should be put in plastic bag before it is refrigerated to avoid contamination to other foods in the refrigerator during the storing especially if the dripping is the source of contamination.

-See to it that the packed food (seafood) has no torn, crushed or open edges.

-See to it before buying perishable items (meat, fish) are thoroughly clean in the food counter. The items gave enough refrigeration inside the glass counter. Not enough refrigeration will cause the perishable foods to become stale and has bad odor.

-Separate the cooked items from the raw one to avoid cross contamination.

-Don’t pick-up packed items that shows frost or ice crystals in its transparent cover as a sign that the items had already been stored for a long time and thawed repeatedly re-frozen.

-If you buy perishable items during your trip or in other places put it in the ice box or ice chest cold enough if it takes several hours to reach for home.

-Don’t buy shellfish anywhere sold from street vendors. It is better to buy directly in the public market under the supervision of health authorities.

It is important to act clean and safe. Foods secured with enough refrigeration will ensure the food items free from possible contamination that will result to food-borne illness. Be responsible and wise to prevent having an illness.

Unsanitary preparation of foods and handling is the principal cause having bacterial infection. Keep the body clean. Wash your hands before doing kitchen preparation. All utensils or other tools used should be clean and sanitized. Sanitize the area in the kitchen for possible contamination. Handle the foods properly before and after it was cooked.

Wash your hands with water and soap before food handling. The countertop be cleaned with chlorine bleach and kitchen cleaning agents. Keep dish cloth dry or wash in hot water. Sanitized sink drain, the place where the bacteria lives.


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