Foodborne illness, or “food poisoning, " occurs when food contaminated with bacteria or other pathogens, such as parasites or viruses, is consumed. Poisonous chemicals, pesticides, and other harmful substances can also cause foodborne illness.
Food poisoning: Common causes and likely symptoms
Here are the most likely causes of food poisoning and what you can do to prevent getting sick.
1. Undercooked meat and poultry
2. Raw (unpasteurized) milk and soft cheeses
3. Raw or undercooked eggs
4. Prepared salads (egg, tuna, chicken, potato and macaroni), cream sauces, and cream-filled pastries and pies
5. Raw oysters or undercooked mussels, clams, and whole scallops and other raw seafood
6. Fresh or minimally processed produce
How do harmful germs get into food?
Germs can get into food when:
* Meat is processed. It is normal to find bacteria in the intestines of healthy animals that we use for food. Sometimes the bacteria get mixed up with the parts of those animals that we eat.
* The food is watered or washed. If the water used to irrigate or wash fresh fruits and vegetables has germs from animal manure or human sewage in it, those germs can get on the fruits and vegetables.
Symptoms of Food Poisoning
In most cases of foodborne illness, symptoms resemble intestinal flu and may last a few hours or even several days. Symptoms can range from mild to serious and include
* abdominal cramps
The objective of treatment is to replace fluids and electrolytes (salt and minerals) lost by vomiting or diarrhea. Antidiarrheal medications are generally not needed.
Self-care measures to avoid dehydration include drinking water and electrolyte solutions to replace fluids lost by vomiting. A variety of pleasant-tasting electrolyte solutions are available over-the-counter.
People with diarrhea who are unable to take fluids by mouth because of nausea or vomiting may need intravenous fluids. This is true especially for small children.
People taking diuretics ("water pills") may need to stop taking them during the acute episode. Ask your health care provider for instructions.
Alternative Medicine Treatment for Food Poisoning
Vitamin C - detoxifies body, aids in removing bacteria
Vitamin E - aids immune function to clear toxins and bacteria
Lobelia Tea Enema - helps clear poisons from body.
YOU CAN HELP PREVENT FOOD POISONING BY CAREFULLY FOLLOWING A FEW SIMPLE SAFETY PRACTICES WHEN HANDLING FOOD:
* Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling food.
* Make sure that you clean cutting boards thoroughly with warm soapy water before preparing food on them.
* Cook meats properly and never cook if partially frozen. Poultry is often contaminated. Cook it thoroughly and clean up carefully. Once cooked, do not place it on a surface where raw meat was placed before.
* Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator overnight or in a microwave before cooking. Do not thaw food by setting it out on the kitchen bench.
* If there is a delay in serving food, keep it very hot or very cold.
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