Food poisoning is illness that results due to the consumption of food or drink which is contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins or chemicals. Most people recover without the need for treatment. In most cases, the food that causes the illness has been contaminated by bacteria, such as salmonella or Escherichia coli, or a virus, such as the norovirus. The contamination of food can occur at any point beginning from growing, till processing and shipping of the product. Improper cooking of the food may also be the cause for contamination other cause can be when pathogens are transferred from one surface to another especially in case of ready-to-eat foods or raw foods. Since these foods aren’t cooked before consumption, pathogens are not destroyed and ingesting them may lead to food poisoning. This is called cross-contamination. Thus the contamination of food may occur at any stage in the process from food production to consumption.
The symptoms of food poisoning may begin at any point between few hours and several weeks after eating contaminated food. They include:
Other symptoms of food poisoning include:
Food borne illness are usually infectious or toxic in nature and caused by bacteria ,viruses, parasites or chemical substances entering the body through contaminated food or water arise from improper handling, preparation or storage of food.
Cross-contamination: Cross-contamination is a cause of food poisoning that is often over looked. It occurs when harmful bacteria are spread between food, surfaces and equipment.
Most common organisms that cause food poisoning:
-Salmonella species . – S. typhi-murium infection
-Escherichia coli (E. coli )
Generally detailed history including signs, symptoms and details of food intake are used to diagnose for the food poisoning.Symptoms may include pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and signs and symptoms of dehydration (body does not have as much water and fluids as it should)
Stool test: Sometimes stool test is done for detecting bacteria or parasites.
In most cases of food poisoning, symptoms can be relieved at home without seeing physician.
Oral rehydration salts: If diarrhoea persists, oral rehydration solution as ORS, should be drunk to replace the fluid losses and prevent dehydration.
Drink plenty of fluids: This is to prevent dehydration
If condition persists visit the doctor.
Some do’s and don’ts to prevent food poisoning at home:
If one is suffering from food poisoning: