What is food poisoning?
Foodborne illness is also called as Food poisoning. This illness is caused by drinking or eating the food that is contaminated by viruses, bacteria, toxins, parasites, or chemicals. This disease usually results in vomiting and diarrhea. Food poisoning affects the person, within hours after eating the contaminated food, this includes nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Food poisoning may be sometimes mild and resolves without treatment. But if it is having more effect immediately the person should be taken to a doctor.
Food poisoning is the most common illness and risker for people with a weak immune system, pregnant women, infants, and young children and the elderly.
What are the Causes of food poisoning:
The main cause of food poisoning are as follows:
Bacteria and viruses:
These are the most common cause of food poisoning. The severity of food poisoning varies depending on the bacteria or viruses that have contaminated the food. There are different types of bacteria, viruses, or pathogens that contaminate the food.
The most common pathogens that cause food poisoning are Norovirus, Salmonella, Clostridium Perfringens, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus, Toxoplasma gondii, Escherichia coli, and Listeria monocytogenes. The severity depends on how much the bacteria that have contaminated the food, sometimes if the food is contaminated severely that may lead to death.
The toxins that cause food poisoning are produced by bacteria or in food, some are produced by plants and animals or other ingested organisms. There are many plants and animals that can be poisonous under certain conditions. In some cases, food poisoning can be caused either by natural toxins or added chemical toxins.
The parasite is the organisms that live in or on another and takes nourishment from that other living organism known as hosts. The most common parasite are protozoa, roundworms, tapeworms, giardia, and amoeba, Trichinella, and Taenia sodium.
Certain chemicals are considered as toxins that cause food poisoning, some of these do not enter into the foods. The cause of food and water poisoning are numerous. Some chemicals that contaminate food and water are pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and lead.
What causes food poisoning?
Some food is associated with foodborne illness, they carry harmful germs that can make you sick if the food is contaminated.
Food poisoning is highly affected by raw and uncooked poultry, bacteria’s like Campylobacter and salmonella, which contaminate poultry. The small amount of contamination makes a sever effect on people who eat that.
Eggs are rich in protein and are consumed throughout the world. When it gets contaminated, there is a high risk of food poisoning especially when it is raw or partially cooked. Salmonella bacteria are responsible for food poisoning. It can spoil eggshell, yolk, or egg white. If the egg is contaminated it is very difficult to identify the spoiled egg.
Most of the vegetables are eaten raw, which may contain harmful bacteria. Some bacteria present in the soil are most harmful that are not killed in the process of cooking. E-Coli is the bacteria that are grown in leafy vegetables. Many pesticides and chemicals are used to grow these vegetables which may cause food poisoning.
There is a high risk of food poisoning if the milk is consumed without heating. E-coli, salmonella, and Listeria are the bacteria present in the milk which may affect the people basing on the range of poisoning.
Staphylococcus aureus is the bacteria that are present in cheese. Eating contaminated cheese may lead to a high risk of food poisoning. The bacteria grow very fast in meat and cheese, even the cooking process does not kill these bacteria.
Sprouts are grown in warm and wet climatic conditions, this is a perfect climatic condition for bacteria to grow. As sprouts re-eaten raw there is a chance of consuming the bacteria along with them, this may result in food poisoning. E-coli and salmonella are the bacteria found in sprouts.
There are different kinds of illness if food poisoning is caused by seafood. Seafood may get contaminated by the toxin, bacteria or any harmful bacteria and the condition of the fish that is preserved.
Most of the people on earth eat rice, there is a chance food poisoning and risk would be high. Bacillus cereus is the bacteria that initially affects and present in uncooked rice in the form of spores.
Deli meats are often processed. These deli meats include hot dogs, ham, bacon, and salami. These deli meats should be stored in a proper way as they are not processed before eating. Listeria and some harmful bacteria contaminate the food which leads to food poisoning.
Most of the raw fruits have a high risk of causing food poisoning. Listeria, salmonella is the bacteria that are grown on the skin of the fruits and vegetables, these bacteria cause food poisoning if eaten. The bacteria often grow in humid and warm conditions, which helps to increase their count.
Food Poisoning Symptoms:
Foodborne illness is caused by consuming unhygienic food and water, which contains harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses. This is a common affecting illness, around the world. Many of the foods that we eat contain harmful microorganisms that can be killed during cooking and some may not be destroyed in the processing, which results in food poisoning. The symptoms of food poisoning are
- Abdominal pain and cramps:
Harmful organisms releases toxins that cause irritation in the stomach and intestines, which causes severe painful inflammation in the stomach and abdomen. People who are affected with food poisoning will experience cramps, nevertheless, abdominal pain.
This is the most typical symptom which leads to dehydration. The inflammation makes the bowel to reabsorb the water and fluids that are secreted during digestion. The main symptom of diarrhea is bloating, abdominal cramps, and a sense of urgency, when you need to use the bathroom.
a person who is affected by food poisoning may experience severe headaches. The main reason for food poisoning is drinking more alcohol, dehydration, and fatigue that may lead to a headache.
This is a natural symptom of food poisoning. This occurs when the abdominal muscles and diaphragm contacts tightly, which pushes all the contents out of the stomach through the mouth, this is a protective mechanism when our body detects dangerous organisms that are harming our body.
Pyrogens trigger are the substances that raise the temperature of the body which may result in fever. These substances are either released by our immune system or by the bacteria present in the human body. As the temperature increases the activity of the white blood cells also increases, which helps to fight with the infection-causing bacteria.
Nausea is a sensation of vomiting. This occurs with many reasons like migraine, food poisoning, motion sickness and eating much. This is caused in one to eight hours after eating food.
Who is at risk for food poisoning?
Food poisoning affects everyone who eats contaminated and spoiled foods. The symptoms always vary from one person to another person depending on the severity of food poisoning. This effects quickly to the people with weak immune systems there are some people who face the severity of food poisoning:
As age increases, the immune system will not respond to infectious organisms that enter our body. So people with older age mat effect firstly when compared with the people of a young age.
Food poisoning is more severe in pregnant ladies. In this, both the woman and the baby will get affected by food poisoning. This food poisoning occurs as there will be a change in metabolism and in the circulation.
Infants and young children:
There is a great chance of food poisoning, children and infants have low Immune systems, and the bacteria may enter into the body of the children very quickly.
People with chronic disease:
People with chronic diseases like diabetes, liver diseases, HIV-AIDS, cancer, and some people who receive radiation therapy and chemotherapy may get affected by food poisoning as their immune system will be weak to fight with the bacteria that enter the human body.
Diagnosis and treatment for food poisioning:
Foodborne illness is diagnosed based upon certain factors like how long you are suffering, symptoms, and the food you have eaten before. The doctor will examine and check the symptoms of food poisoning. In most cases the illness cannot be identified, then the doctor conducts some diagnostic tests like a blood test, stool culture and to examine the parasites presents in the body and then confirms the diagnosis for food poisoning. For some people, it may be resolved without treatment but if the effect is more severe, this illness will be resolved within a few days.
The person who is affected with this illness will be treated with the following:
- Replacing the fluids that are lost from the body. Electrolytes and fluids contain minerals such as sodium, potassium, and calcium which maintains the ph level of the body.
- If the person is affected by diarrhea or vomiting he should be immediately taken to the doctor for medication. Where he was given the salts and fluids through the veins, for faster recovery.
- Antibiotics were given to the patient for some types of food poisoning that are caused by certain types of bacteria. These antibiotics will work on the viruses or the parasites that enter into the body and reduce the effect of food poisoning.
What are the Home remedies for food poisoning:
When a person is suffering from food poisoning, the body loses more water than normal. At that time we need to take more fluids that increase the ph level of our body. It’s better to avoid solid foods. We take some steps to get rid of this food poisoning using the ingredients that are available in the kitchen. Let us know them in detail:
Ginger is used for many treatments, it improves absorption and helps to intake the nutrients and helps indigestion. Ginger relieves from nausea and vomiting. This should be taken in the form of tea several times a day. This reduces the inflammation and pain in the stomach.
Apple cider vinegar:
This is acidic in nature. It shoes an alkaline effect in the way it is metabolized in the body. This gives instant relief from the gastrointestinal lining and kills the bacteria that is present in the stomach. Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in hot water before eating your food.
It’s a herd that relieves from abdominal discomfort caused by food poisoning. It fights with the micro-organisms that are responsible for food poisoning. Extract the basil leaves juice and add one tablespoon of honey to it and have it several times a day. We can also add coriander juice to it.
Lemon has some antiviral and antibacterial properties which give a lot of relief. Lemon is acidic in nature it kills the bacteria that caused food poisoning. We just need to take a pinch of sugar to one tablespoon of lemon juice and drink two to three times a day. You can also intake it by adding lemon juice with warm water to clean out our system.
Fenugreek seeds and yogurt:
Yogurt is rich in antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which is helpful in fighting with food causing bacteria. These are used to treat abdominal discomforts. You need to swallow one tablespoon of fenugreek seeds with one tablespoon of yogurt. This combination relieves from stomach pain and vomiting.
These are also called as jeera, this helps to ease the abdominal discomfort and stomach inflammation caused due to food poisoning. You need to add one tablespoon of cumin seeds in one cup of water and boil it, then add one tablespoon of fresh coriander juice and add a little salt. Drink this twice a day for a few days.
How Can Food Poisoning Be Prevented?
As we know that food poisoning is caused due to intake of unhygienic food and water. We just need to follow some precautions to prevent food poisoning:
- We need to wash our hands and utensils with warm and soapy water before and after preparing food.
- We should wash utensils, cutting boards and other surfaces with hot and soapy water.
- We have to keep the cooked and uncooked foods away from each other, shellfish, poultry and fish are to be placed separately that prevents cross-contamination.
- By using a food thermometer we can cook the foods at a safe temperature and even kill the organisms that are present in the foods.
- We need to store the perishable foods in refrigerators within an hour to prevent spoiling.
- While storing the foods we need to maintain proper steps in preserving the food. Food left at the room temperature helps the microorganisms to grow in number. If you are not sure about the food just throw it.
Like bacteria, viruses and parasites present around us contaminate the food we eat and cause harmful effects and may lead to death. We just need to be aware of the measures that we take to keep our surroundings, ourselves and food in a hygienic manner. And reduce the effects of food poisoning by making everyone know about the illness and save ourselves, families and even society.