Food poisoning is a common problem, but it’s also one that can often be prevented.
Many cases are mild and you get better without treatment. But some cases may be so severe that you need to go to a hospital for treatment. To avoid getting a food-borne illness in the first place, there are some general guidelines to follow. Food-borne illness is a type of illness caused by consuming contaminated foods and drinks. There are quite a number of harmful microorganisms that can contaminate food or drinks. Besides bacteria, viruses and parasites, chemicals and natural toxins can also contaminate foods making them poisonous. Also, when certain foods are not properly cooked, they can also be poisonous.
Symptoms of food-borne illness vary depending on the cause, but generally, symptoms often include:
Loss of appetite
Body aches and weakness
Blurred vision and double vision
Diarrhoea (may be watery or bloody)
Food-borne illness is common; about 76 million cases are reported every year, resulting in thousands of deaths, yet the illness is highly preventable. Anyone can be affected by this illness, but very young children, the elderly and persons with weakened immune system are particularly susceptible.
Some of the foods mostly associated with food-borne illness include:
Raw or under-cooked seafood
Raw and under-cooked meat and poultry
Fruits and vegetables
To protect yourself and your loved ones from this illness, here are some of the things you should do:
Wash fruits and vegetables properly before eating them. Do not buy fruits and vegetables from vendors and eat them directly; always wash them thoroughly with water before eating them.
Make sure beef, poultry and other meats are properly cooked before eating
Store leftover foods properly and ensure that they are reheated properly before you eat them.
Avoid eating cold foods; as much as you can, eat your foods when they are still hot.
Maintain a good personal hygiene
Prevent food cross-contamination. Keep raw foods away from cooked foods.
The first rule of safe cooking is to wash your hands frequently. But there are plenty of other things to clean.
Wash cutting boards and knives with antibacterial soap and warm to hot water after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs. Wooden cutting boards are not recommended, because they can be harder to clean.
By: Pupwaya Timothy Dibal