As a parent, it is important to know in “What Do you Do for Food Poisoning?”. This post is my entry for National Poison Prevention Week, which is the fourth week of June. I have included the first aid for food poisoning and possible treatment at home.’
What do you do for food poisoning?
What do you do for food poisoning? First of all, we must pay attention on the cleanliness not just to ourselves but also on our sorroundings and most of all for Safer Food Handling. Thoroughly wash hands before handling food, wash cutting surfaces, utensils, and countertops after contact with raw meat. Wash produce under running water and dry with paper towels. Discard outer leaves of lettuce or cabbage. Cook meat, poultry, and eggs to proper temperature and keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
More common and riskier for people with weakened immune systems, infants and young children, pregnant women, and the elderly. The same food can affect people differently. Some may feel unwell after just a few bites. Others can eat a lot and have no reaction at all. Getting sick from eating food that has germs, viruses, or parasites is more common than you might think. Most get better on their own without medical treatment.
What is food poisoning?
Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is illness caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms — including bacteria, viruses and parasites — or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning. Infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point of processing or production. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked.-http://www.mayoclinic.org
Ways You Can Get Food Poisoning, Symptoms and Safety Tips
According to http://www.webmd.com/ food poisoning can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. They can exist in foods at any stage, such as when they’re growing, packaged, shipped, stored, or cooked. Your chances of getting food poisoning are higher in the summer. In 90-degree heat, food can start to spoil within an hour. At a picnic or during a camping trip, you are more likely to eat undercooked grilled meats or to handle raw meat without access to soap and water. Bacteria can grow quickly inside tepid coolers. So if you’re picnicking on a hot day, put leftovers back in with fresh ice.
- Raw Fruits and Vegetables. Listeria bacteria can contaminate fresh produce, like cantaloupes, as well as some processed foods, like cheeses. Symptoms of infection include fever, muscle aches, upset stomach, or diarrhea — occurring 2 days to 2 months after exposure.
- Safety: Scrub raw produce and dry before cutting. Store in fridge below 40 F. Clean everything in contact with a whole melon.
- Unpasteurized Dairy products made with raw milk, including yogurt and soft cheeses like Brie, feta, and Mexican queso, can harbor listeria. Because listeria can live at colder temperatures, simply refrigerating these foods won’t kill the bacteria. People at highest risk of getting sick include the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems.
- Safety: Check the label. Make sure it’s clearly marked “pasteurized.”
- Deli Meats and Hot Dogs. Sometimes listeria finds its way into a food processing factory, where it can live for years. Heat kills listeria, but contamination may happen after cooking, but before packaging — for example, if a food is placed back on a counter that had raw meat on it.
- Safety: Never keep pre-cooked or ready-to-eat foods past their use-by date. Heat hot dogs and lunch meats until steaming (165 F) before eating.
- Poultry and Eggs, Salmonella bacteria can taint any food, although there’s a greater risk from animal products because of contact with animal feces. In chickens, it can infect eggs before the shell forms, so even clean, fresh eggs may harbor salmonella. Symptoms include stomach cramps, fever, and diarrhea 12 to 72 hours after exposure. Illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days.
- Safety: Never eat raw or lightly cooked eggs. Cook poultry to 165 F. Keep raw poultry separate from cooked poultry and other foods. Wash hands, cutting boards, utensils, and countertops after handling.
- Fresh produce is catching up with poultry as a cause of salmonella infections. Outbreaks have been traced to tomatoes, hot peppers, salad greens, and papayas. Sprouts, too, may harbor salmonella because they’re grown in warm, humid conditions – and are often eaten raw or lightly cooked. Infections can be severe or even fatal in people at higher risk, including babies and the frail elderly.
- Safety: Thoroughly wash and dry produce, and store in the fridge at 40° F.
- Processed Foods like chips, crackers, soup, peanut butter, even frozen meals may pose a slight risk for salmonella infection. One salmonella outbreak was linked to peanut butter and packaged foods made with peanuts, including granola bars and cookies. In cases like these, salmonella bacteria at a processing plant can contaminate many products, which must then be recalled.
- Safety: Never use a product that has been recalled — immediately return it to the store or throw it away. Heating foods thoroughly to 165 F can kill salmonella bacteria.
- Raw meat, particularly ground meat, is at risk for salmonella contamination. Ground turkey has been linked with several salmonella outbreaks. You usually can’t tell the food is contaminated because it looks and smells normal.
- Safety: Cook beef, pork, and lamb to at least 145 F and poultry (including ground poultry) to at least 165 F. Ground beef, pork, and lamb should be heated to 160 F. Avoid cross-contamination by washing hands and all surfaces with warm soapy water after contact with raw meat.
- Ground Beef could have an E. coli lives in the intestines of cattle and can contaminate beef during the slaughtering process. Ground beef is especially risky, because the bacteria can spread when meat is ground up. Symptoms of E. coli infection include severe abdominal cramps, watery diarrhea, and vomiting. The illness typically develops several days after exposure and can be severe in vulnerable people. It lasts about a week.
- Safety: Cook meat thoroughly (160 F, no pink in the center). Do not put a cooked burger back on a plate that held raw meat. Wash utensils, including the meat thermometer, with warm, soapy water.
- Raw Juice and Milk Pasteurization uses heat to kill bacteria. Since most juices you’ll find at the grocery store have been pasteurized, they pose no risk. However, unpasteurized juices and ciders sold at farms, stands, or in health food stores, can harbor E. coli. The bacteria can also get into raw milk as a result of unclean milking equipment, or manure-soiled or infected udders.
- Safety: Buy only products that have been pasteurized. If you’re not sure, boil before drinking.
- Fresh Produce Fruits and Vegetables can be tainted with E. coli if the fertilizer or water used to grow them carries the bacteria. Leafy greens are at highest risk. E. coli has been linked to fresh spinach. But produce growers have put safety measures into place to minimize the risk. Experts say the health benefits of eating fruits and veggies are far greater than the risk of food poisoning.
- Safety: Separate and individually wash the leaves of leafy greens, and cook vegetables to kill bacteria.
- Canned Foods. Botulism is a rare, potentially fatal illness linked to improperly canned or preserved foods. Home-canned foods are especially at risk, as well as honey, cured meats, and fermented, smoked, or salted fish. Babies have the highest risk of getting sick. Symptoms include cramps, vomiting, breathing problems, difficulty swallowing, double vision, and weakness or paralysis. If you suspect botulism poisoning, call your doctor right away.
- Safety: Never give honey to children under 12 months. Throw away bulging cans, leaking jars, or foul-smelling preserved foods — or if liquid spurts out upon opening. Sterilize home-canned foods by cooking at 250 F for 30 minutes.
- Meat, Stew, and Gravy Clostridium perfringens is a type of bacteria that causes cramps and diarrhea lasting less than 24 hours. Stews, gravies, and other foods that are prepared in large quantities and kept warm for a long time before serving are a common source of C. perfringens infections.
- Safety: Sauces, gravies, and stews should be cooked thoroughly and then kept at a temperature above 140 F or below 41 F. Serve food hot right after cooking. Promptly refrigerate leftovers in shallow containers to allow for proper cooling.
- Sandwiches, Salads, Pastries. Yes, you can get a staph infection from food — when an infected person prepares it. Foods at highest risk include sandwiches, salads (including egg, tuna, chicken, potato, and macaroni), cream-filled pastries, and puddings. Symptoms come on quickly, in as little as 30 minutes, and include vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea. The illness usually runs its course in one to three days.
- Safety: Wash hands thoroughly before handling food. Do not handle food if you are sick or have a nose or eye infection, an open wound, or infection on your hands or wrists.
- Improper Food Handling. Hepatitis A is a virus that attacks the liver and can cause fever, fatigue, nausea, weight loss, and jaundice. Most infections are mild. It can spread when an infected person doesn’t wash hands properly, then touches food or items that are put in the mouth. Recent outbreaks were traced back to workers in food processing plants or restaurants.
- Safety: Get vaccinated against hepatitis A. Check restaurant health ratings. Always wash hands thoroughly before handling food.
- Undercooked Poultry. As little as one drop of raw chicken juice can cause campylobacter illness — a little-known illness that is the second-leading cause of food poisoning in the U.S. Symptoms can include fever, cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Most people recover in less than a week, but it can lead to Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare, serious illness. Guillain-Barre develops a few weeks after diarrheal illness and can cause temporary paralysis.
- Safety: Avoid cross-contamination by washing hands, cutting surfaces, utensils, and countertops in warm, soapy water after handling raw poultry. Cook poultry to at least 165 F.
- Improper Food Handling. Noroviruses are the most common culprits in what we think of as the “stomach flu.” They cause vomiting and diarrhea, and usually last 24 to 48 hours. Norwalk viruses contaminate food when a food worker doesn’t wash his or her hands after using the restroom. Foods like salad or raw shellfish pose a risk because they aren’t cooked before eating.
- Safety: Always wash hands with hot, soapy water for 30 seconds after using the toilet or changing diapers, and before handling food.
- Raw Oysters. Vibrio vulnificus is a bacteria that lives in warm seawater and can contaminate shellfish, particularly oysters. V. vulnificus infection causes the same gastrointestinal symptoms as many other foodborne illnesses, but in people with weakened immune systems it can develop into a life-threatening blood infection.
- Safety: Only eat thoroughly cooked shellfish. Frying, baking, boiling, and steaming reduces the risk of infection. Throw away any shellfish that doesn’t open during cooking.
11.Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
- Paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) is produced by certain types of algae. When algae “blooms” — called a red tide — it produces high levels of toxin and shellfish can be contaminated. Symptoms of PSP include tingling lips and tongue, numbness, difficulty breathing, and eventual paralysis. Death from PSP can happen as soon as 30 minutes after extreme exposure. Luckily, PSP is extremely rare. Shellfish are regularly tested for toxins before being sold to the public.
- Fresh Tuna. Scombrotoxin poisoning is an allergy-like reaction to eating fish that has begun to spoil. Fish associated with scombrotoxin include tuna, mackerel, amberjack, and mahi-mahi. In the early stages of spoilage, bacteria produce histamines in the fish. This causes a burning sensation in the mouth, itchy rash, dizziness, headache, and diarrhea. Symptoms usually subside within four to six hours, and antihistamines can help.
- Fish. This develops from eating reef fish like grouper or snapper that have consumed some types of sea algae. Symptoms develop within 6 hours of exposure and can include: Burning or painful tingling in arms or legs, Headache, Nausea, vomiting, Diarrhea, Hallucinations, Temperature reversal (cold objects feel hot, hot objects feel cold).
There is no cure for ciguatera poisoning, and although it usually goes away after days or weeks, neurological symptoms can sometimes last for years.
Common Symptoms of Food Poisoning
You may have symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea within hours of eating. But sometimes the symptoms can take days or more than a week to show up. That can make it hard to know if it’s food poisoning or something else. The delay also makes it tricky to trace the illness back to the specific food or drink.
According to https://familydoctor.org/ make an appointment with your doctor if:
- Frequent episodes of vomiting and inability to keep liquids down
- Bloody vomit or stools
- Diarrhea for more than three days
- Extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping
- An oral temperature higher than 101.5 F (38.6 C)
- Signs or symptoms of dehydration — excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Neurological symptoms such as blurry vision, muscle weakness and tingling in the arms
When should I go to a doctor?
Seek emergency care if:
- Your stool is maroon or black or you see a lot of blood in your stool.
- You are vomiting blood.
- You are having trouble breathing.
- You have severe abdominal pain or stomach cramping.
- You have double vision or trouble moving parts of your body.
- You have symptoms of severe dehydration (see the list above).
- You have trouble swallowing.
- You feel like your heart is pounding.
- You have food poisoning from eating mushrooms or shellfish.
Treatments and Drugs
Mayo Clinic said that the treatment for food poisoning typically depends on the source of the illness, if known, and the severity of your symptoms. For most people, the illness resolves without treatment within a few days, though some types of food poisoning may last longer.
Home and first aid treatment for food poisoning may include:
Replacement of lost fluids. Fluids and electrolytes — minerals such as sodium, potassium and calcium that maintain the balance of fluids in your body — lost to persistent diarrhea need to be replaced. Some children and adults with persistent diarrhea or vomiting may need hospitalization, where they can receive salts and fluids through a vein (intravenously), to prevent or treat dehydration.
Antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you have certain kinds of bacterial food poisoning and your symptoms are severe. Food poisoning caused by listeria needs to be treated with intravenous antibiotics during hospitalization. The sooner treatment begins, the better. During pregnancy, prompt antibiotic treatment may help keep the infection from affecting the baby.
Adults with diarrhea that isn’t bloody and who have no fever may get relief from taking the medication loperamide (Imodium A-D) or bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol). Ask your doctor about these options.
With this information, I’m sure you’ll be ready on What Do you Do for Food Poisoning?
For my family, I make sure that the foods are clean. Fruits and vegetables are properly washed. I prepare packed lunch for my husband in the office and kids in school instead of buying foods outside. Let’s keep our family healthy and happy.
Researcher: Mei Redillas