What is Food Poisoning?
You have likely heard about food poisoning in discussions of health and nutrition, but do you know what exactly it is, what causes it and effective treatments?
Here are the details of food poisoning to provide you a guide to healthy eating.
Definition of Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is an illness that results from swallowing contaminated food or drinking water. Millions of people, every year, suffer from food poisoning, which commonly reveals itself in the forms of diarrhoea, nausea, fever and vomiting. Food poisoning symptoms can often appear within hours of ingesting the contaminated materials.
Food Poisoning Causes
The contamination of food or water stems from toxins that have developed within it, namely parasites, bacteria or viruses. For example, the presence of a bacteria called salmonella in food or water is a frequent source of food poisoning.
Often, food poisoning is caused by cross-contamination, which means that infectious organisms have transferred from one surface to another one. Salmonella, for example, can grow in poultry that is improperly cooked and spread via cutting surfaces or infected hands.
Treating Food Poisoning
In most cases, food poisoning is treatable at home within a span of several days. However, if severe systems appear, it is important to go to the hospital for professional medical treatment.
See a doctor if you notice blood in your stool or vomit, blurry vision, you are frequently vomiting, or your diarrhoea extends past three days. In these cases, doctors will usually rehydrate you with IV fluids. You are at higher risks for severe food poisoning symptoms if you are pregnant, elderly or very young.
Preventing food poisoning is best done by following a guide to healthy eating that includes safe food handling and not eating food that has expired or that you know to be unsafe. For example, proper health and nutrition practices are to wash raw fruits and vegetables, wash your hands before cooking or preparing foods and cooking meat thoroughly.