FOOD POISONING

CAUSES – Food poisoning can be divided into two categories; infectious agents and toxic agents.  Contaminated food comes from poor sanitation or preparation.  If food handlers do not wash their hands after using the bathroom or have infections themselves, it can often cause contamination. Improperly packaged food stored at the wrong temperature also promotes contamination.  When people travel to developing countries often encounter food poisoning in the form of traveler’s diarrhea.  Salmonella poisoning comes from contaminated eggs, poultry, and meat.  Viral food poisoning comes from eating raw seafood such as shellfish.

TREATMENT – Your body usually rejects the poisons by expelling them through vomiting and diarrhea.  You should drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated.  Your doctor can prescribe you an antiemetic drug if your symptoms are severe.  For cases like botulism, you will need to be hospitalized immediately.

PREVENTION – The following preventative measures should be taken to avoid food poisoning:

  • Before preparing or eating food, be sure to wash your hands.
  • Bad smelling food should never be consumed.
  • Never thaw frozen food at room temperature.  Keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to prepare it.
  • Uncooked or raw foods should not be eaten.  Cook all meats, fish, and eggs until they are properly ready for consumption.
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