Every year millions of people throughout the world suffer with deadly diseases caused by Food Poisoning. You will be surprised to know that it is because of unsafe food, dirty kitchen and dirty appliances. Your food gets poisoned if you do not follow cleanliness rules. It starts from mild intestinal discomfort to severe dehydration and diarrhea. In some cases, it can be life threatening!
When we think of it, the first thing that comes to our mind is the typical infection in intestines that causes diarrhea. It’s not serious and most people get better within a few days, even without medical treatment.
What is Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning is also called food borne illness. It occurs when you swallow food or water that contains bacteria, parasites, viruses, or the toxins made by these germs. Infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point of processing or production. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked.
Types of Infection
- Escherichia coli (E.coli)
What are the Symptoms?
Food poisoning symptoms vary with the source of contamination. Symptoms of food poisoning start within 2 – 6 hours of eating the food.That time may be longer or shorter, depending on the cause of the food poisoning. If you experience any of these food poisoning symptoms, you should contact your doctor or another health care professional as soon as possible.
- Watery diarrhea
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Abdominal pain
- Lack of energy and weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Aching muscles
- Dizziness, fainting, rapid heart rate
Symptoms of potentially life threatening food poisoning occur when:
- Cannot keep fluids down
- Diarrhea persists for more than three days
- Fever higher than 101.5 degrees
- Extreme thirsty and dry mouth
- Pass little or no urine
- Unable to speak or see
What causes Food Poisoning?
The main reason behind food poisoning is Cross-contamination – transfers of harmful organisms from one place to another. Contamination of food can happen at any point during its production, growing, harvesting, processing, storing, shipping or preparing. The most infectious foods can be raw (ready-to-eat foods) such as salads. The most common food poisoning causes are bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, allergens, E. coli or staphylococcus bacteria in contaminated food. Look out for the following points and find out the common ways by through with the organism spreads.
Causes of food poisoning
- Food prepared with unwashed hands
- Raw fruits or vegetables not thoroughly washed
- Utensils or kitchen appliances not cleaned properly
- Uncooked Food (particularly meat and chicken)
- Food not stored properly, needs to be chilled below 5 Degree Celsius
- Cooked food unrefrigerated for a long period
- Food touched by an unwell person
- Unhygienic water
Who are at more risk?
Anyone can suffer from food poisoning. People who are infected at least once in their lives, pregnant women, infants and young children, older adults and people with chronic disease are at greater risk of complications.
The most common serious complication of food poisoning is dehydration. It is much more complicated for an unborn baby, a pregnant mother as it leads to miscarriage, still birth, and premature birth. In older adults, food poisoning can cause kidney failure. Infants can face neurological damage.
Best way to prevent Food Poisoning
Always take care of four ‘Cs’
- Cross-contamination (avoid it)
When to contact a Doctor?
- Blood or pus in your stool
- Unable to drink any fluid due to vomiting
- High fever with diarrhea
- Thirst, dizziness or light-headedness
- Suffer from diarrhea after travelling from abroad
- If condition not getting better in 5 days
- Vomiting does not stop in 12 hours
Some home remedies and food poisoning treatment
The following remedies are simple to follow and you can get quick relief.
- Drink herbal tea of mint, raspberry, chamomile and blackberry
- Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice in a cup of hot water before meal.
- Ginger tea after meals
- Drink mint essence likepudin hara or amritdhara
- Also drink Jal-jeera
Important points of food poisoning cure to keep in mind when you suffer from Food Poisoning
- Stop eating and drinking for few hours
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or highly seasoned foods
- Avoid unpasteurized milk or milk products
- Do not eat raw/very lightly cooked ground beef, chicken, eggs or fish
- Don’t buy foods in jars or cans that are cracked, dented or have some defect on it
- Use boiled or purified water for drinking and cooking purposes
- Illness and dehydration weakens you, so take proper rest
Image Courtesy: kodjoworkout, medicaldaily, healthygutbugs, medicalnewstoday