Food Poisoning Causes and Solutions

Food poisoning is a common disease during the summer that affects us after we swallow contaminated, expired, or toxic food/drinks. The symptoms can be mild as well as serious. Depending on the germ, the symptoms can be felt within a few hours to a few days. This blog gives an overview of some common food poisoning causes and their solutions.

Common Symptoms of Food Poisoning

The common symptoms of food poisoning are:
1. An upset stomach and cramps,
2. Vomiting,
3. Nausea,
4. Weakness,
5. Fever, and
6. Diarrhea.

The intensity of each symptom would depend on the type of germ responsible for the contamination.
Bacteria: E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella
Parasites: Toxoplasma
Virus: Norovirus, Sapovirus, Rotavirus, and Astrovirus
Parasitic food poisoning is not common. However, parasites can hit people with a weak immune system and pregnant women. It usually affects us when they start growing inside the digestive system.

It would be beneficial to understand how we come in contact with each type of germ responsible for food poisoning.

Staph – Food that is not cooked after handling
Vibrio – Raw undercooked seafood
Salmonella – Raw and undercooked food items
Botulism – Improperly canned or fermented homemade food
Norovirus– Leafy vegetables, fruits, and fish contaminated either by an infected person or a surface that has the virus on it.

Food poisoning can affect anyone. However, the most vulnerable are adults above 65 years of age or children below 5 years. It can also affect people with a weak immune system or pregnant women.

You can take some easy measures to prevent food poisoning.

1. Regularly clean and sanitize kitchen surfaces
2. Throw away all perishable food items that have not been refrigerated for more than two days
3. Do not open the refrigerator during a power outage
4. Wash your hands before touching the food
5. Wash all food carefully before cooking

Ways to treat food poisoning:

1. Drink electrolytes, water, and fresh fruit juices to maintain the fluid balance of your body.
2. Take oral rehydration solutions in case of severe diarrhea.
3. Get rest
4. For severe conditions, speak to a medical professional or a pharmacist for over-the-counter medication.

What to eat and what to avoid during food poisoning:

Eat crackers, gelatin, bananas, rice, oatmeal, chicken broth, bland potatoes, boiled vegetables, toast, diluted fruit juices.
Avoid eating dairy products, especially milk and cheeses, fatty foods, highly seasoned foods, food with high sugar content, spicy foods, fried foods, caffeine (soda, energy drinks, coffee), alcohol, nicotine.
Get in touch with our pharmacist for more information and information on over-the-counter medication for food poisoning.