For anyone, who has ever suffered food poisoning, precaution is always the word when choosing what goes into your stomach, as food.
When a person eats contaminated food, it results in food poisoning, which is also called food-borne illness. Bacteria, viruses, infectious organisms and parasites are the most causes of food poisoning.
Food can be contaminated at any point of production. It could be when growing, harvesting, processing, storing, shipping or preparing. One can begin to feel the symptoms of food poisoning, hours after taking a contaminated food while for some, it may take days or weeks after exposure to the contaminated food.
The symptoms can be mild and resolved within hours, while some may be severe, needing the attention of a medical personnel. Some of the signs and symptoms of food poisoning are: Vomiting, nausea, watery or bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramp, fever, excessive thirst or dehydration and weakness or dizziness.
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It is always safer to see a doctor if the symptoms persist after 24 hours, especially, when the vomiting becomes excessive, extreme pain, bloody vomiting or stool, a very high temperature and neurological symptoms, such as blurry vision. Hence, when patronising a restaurant, look out for one with hygenic environment to avoid food poisining.
A delicious plate of food may be contaminated. How tasty a food is, does not necesarily make it healthy and safe. It may be contaminated, and it is only a matter of time before the symptoms begin to manifest. Often, whether you become ill after eating a contaminated food is dependent on the organism, the amount of exposure, your age, and your health.
Those who have a high risk of food poisoning include older adults, pregnant women, infants, young children and persons with chronic diseases.
Some complications may arise from food poisoning. Some of such complications may be fatal. Dehydration may set in, while symptoms of food poisoning manifest.
Taking plenty of water may help with dehydration. But for infants, persons with a weak immune system and chronic health challenge, intravenous fluid may be needed.
To prevent food poisoning, the
following guidelines will help
- The hand washing habit must be practised religiously. Use soap and water to wash hands before and after meal, after using the restroom or toilet, at regular intervals. Hand sanitisers may also come handy.
- Wash utensils before and after use. Keep them neat always.
- Cook food to a safe temperature.
- Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods promptly, not days after they begin to show signs of spoiling.
- Defrost food safely. You can microwave.
- Throw it away when not sure if a particular food is still good for consumption. You don’t have to take the risk of eating a food that you are not sure of.
- When you go to the market to buy food stuffs, buy fresh vegetables and fruits; any item that goes into the pot to make your food must be of good quality.
- It is always better for sick persons to stay away from the preparation of food, especially one to be eaten by others.