Food poisoning is caused by eating toxic, spoiled, or contaminated food. Infectious organisms such as bacteria and viruses can contaminate food either at production or processing. Sometimes, it can result from poor handling or cooking of food. Depending on the infection source, the symptoms can start within hours or days after eating contaminated food.
Common symptoms of food poisoning
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Bloody or watery diarrhea
- Body weakness
Sometimes, the symptoms can be severe, and you need to see a doctor. Here are possible life-threatening symptoms of food poisoning:
- Diarrhea that persists for more than three days
- Temperatures higher than 38 ̊C
- Bloody stool or vomit
- Severe abdominal pain
- Neurological symptoms like muscle weakness and blurry vision
- Dehydration signs such as lightheadedness, dry mouth, dizziness, and no urination
Types of food poisoning
E.coli is main food poisoning step
Although most E. coli are harmless, Escherichia coli is known to cause food poisoning. The bacteria is spread through the slaughtering process even though contaminated. Raw milk, fruits, and vegetables can spread the bacteria.
Norovirus is found in the vomit or stool of infected people, and it is highly contagious. Failure to wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom can spread the virus, especially for those handling food. Also, touching infected surfaces and touching your mouth is another way of spreading the virus.
Listeriosis (an infection caused by listeria) affects pregnant women, newborn babies, and seniors with a weak immune system. Listeria is found in soil, water, and uncooked vegetables or meat.
Salmonella is prevalent in eggs, raw chicken, pork, beef, and contaminated milk. Salmonella causes salmonellosis, which can be infectious if it reaches your bloodstream.
The severity of poisoning depends on the amount of exposure, age, organism, and state of your health. Here are high risk groups:
- Older adults because they have a weak immune system
- Infants & young children
- Pregnant women – changes in metabolism, circulation, and hormonal imbalance increase the risk of poisoning.
- People suffering from chronic illnesses such as AIDS, liver disease, and diabetes.
If you suspect food poisoning, consider seeking medical attention. Finally, follow preventive measures like washing your hands regularly, cooking foods to safe temperatures