Food Poisoning and how to take care of yourself

According to Center of disease control and prevention CDC, 1 out of every 6 Americans will contract food poisoning every year. Food borne illness, also commonly known as food Poisoning, is caused by the consumption of spoiled or toxic food contaminated with E.Coli, Salmonella, staphylococcus, or a Norovirus which may cause stomach distress, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and cramps. Diarrhea can lead to a severe loss of bodily fluid which may lead to dehydration, which can prove to be fatal if left untreated. 

Severity 

Food Poisoning is a temporary illness. It rarely causes prolonged symptoms, and the treatment of it is fairly easy. The symptoms can be treated easily at home, and it can be entirely avoided with few precautionary measures. Symptoms are usually mild but they are noticeable. However, symptoms may not always be the same. The symptoms vary from the kind of bacteria or virus contracted. 

Main Causes

  1. Bacteria or its toxins in raw meat or rotten eggs and other poultry items. 
  2. Soil – contact of contaminated dirt with food. 
  3. Raw milk. Even Raw cookie dough can cause food poisoning. 
  4. It can be contracted through skin, nose, and cuts, and exposed wounds. 
  5. It can be caused by chemicals and metal can also poison food. 
  6. Mycotoxins 
  7. Fish – improperly prepared sushi

Onset 

Its symptoms may appear within an hour but when food poisoning is caused by salmonella, the onset time for symptoms may extend to 72 hours. 

Symptoms 

  1. Stomach pain, cramps, diarrhea, and distress
  2. Fever due to infection
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. Dehydration
  5. In case of staphylococcus infection, the body temperature may drop.  
  6. Loss of appetite
  7. Muscle and body pains
  8. Weakness

Treatment 

The symptoms usually disappear within a few days if treated with proper care. These are the things that you can do to keep the symptoms low:

  1. Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated especially in cases where you are losing most of your fluids through diarrhea and vomiting. 
  2. In cases of dehydration, try over-the-counter treatments like Oral Hydration solutions to rehydrate your body. 
  3. Do not intake heavy food. Try taking saltines, crackers, cold sandwiches, and food that are easier to digest.  
  4. Avoid fizzy drinks. 
  5. Do not consume alcohol or caffeine during the treatment process. 

Note: Contact a doctor if the symptoms elevate. 

Know when to contact a doctor

You should consider contacting your doctor if the symptoms prevail for more than three days. Some symptoms are more life threatening than the rest. These include: 

  1. Diarrhea for three or more days
  2. 102ºF Fever or above is an indicator of serious infection. 
  3. If you see serious symptoms of dehydration, rush to an emergency room. These symptoms are passing little or no urine, dry mouth, or difficulty in keeping the fluids down. 
  4. If you experience difficulty in seeing or speaking, this may be the cause of serious weakness caused by the infection. 

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away. 

Prevention

There’s an old proverb “Prevention is better than treatment”, and it indeed is. If we take precautions, we can eliminate the risks of food poisoning and prevent the whole ordeal altogether. 

  1. Always wash your hands before cooking because the most common cause of food poisoning is fecal matter that can be easily transferred into our food through our hands. 
  2. Food poisoning can be prevented by cooking food properly and ensuring that bacteria are heat-killed. Pathogens are everywhere, and the can found in our food too. If we cook the food properly we can almost kill all the harmful pathogens before we eat it. 
  3. The raw proteins, such as eggs, dairy products or meat that is not processed though heat, or if it is not cooked with proper precautionary measures, can lead to food poisoning due to bacterial growth or contracted pathogens. A common example is consumption of poorly prepared sushi. 
  4. Try not to handle food with bare hands as it can transfer bacteria.
  5. Store food in a cool dry place that is either below 5 degrees centigrade or higher than 63 degrees centigrade. 
  6. Always keep raw food in a separate container. It is better to keep it in a freezer until it is cooked. This will ensure that no bacteria are growing in it meanwhile.
  7. Keep food in containers with lids so that no insects or microorganisms can enter the food. 
  8. Raw milk should be boiled or pasteurized before use. 

Although the ultimate cause of food poisoning is either a bacteria or a virus that causes infection the one who produced the food through unhygienic means is liable for its integrity and can be held accountable for producing a food product that caused an illness. Such situations can be compensated through a personal injury suit. For s successful monetary compensation against producers of contaminated food, you can contact the pacific attorney group

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