The intake of contaminated food causes food poisoning. It is commonly observed after eating eggs, dairy products, and meats that are infected with harmful bacteria such as E. Coli and salmonella. Certain types of parasites and viruses like norovirus also contribute to this problem. Also, toxins like mercury and lead present in the food leads to poisoning.
Causes and Symptoms
The symptoms resemble the symptoms of gastroenteritis. The signs become visible after the intake of contaminated food. The indicators may come up either after an hour or might even take a day after consuming the contaminated food. The symptoms generally vary according to the contaminant that you ingest. However, the common symptoms are nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, fever, dizziness, and headaches.
- Dehydration may occur since you lose fluid through vomiting and diarrhea. As result the symptoms may aggravate and delay your recovery. Therefore, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
- Avoid the consumption of solid foods until your condition improves. Therefore, drink plenty of fluids to help alleviate the symptoms.
- Once you start having solid foods, start a bland diet comprising those foods which can be easily digested.
- Drink ORS to help replace salt, glucose, and other important minerals lost through dehydration.
- Stay away from strong odors and excessive cold or heat that might increase the bouts of nausea.
- Avoid the consumption of dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or spicy foods.
- If the health issue is due to the bacteria, then you must follow the course of antibiotics medication as prescribed by the doctor.
Treatment for Children
Children recover very fast if proper treatment is given on time. Give boiled water and other fluid items to the child that will make him easy to recover the lost water from the body. The intake of liquid diet will also wash away the toxins from the body. Children are very susceptible to chemicals and pesticides, so always wash the fruits and vegetables before giving them to eat. If the condition does not seem to improve, immediately take them to a doctor.
The condition can be avoided by following a few simple steps.
- Maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness to keep the food away from contamination.
- Follow hygienic practice while cooking in the kitchen by washing the hands, utensils, etc., very often.
- Raw or uncooked food, especially meat and other poultry products should be avoided.
- Do not consume food stored for a long period of time.
- Do not consume leftover food.
- Keep perishable food items in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Store raw foods and foods that are ready-to-eat separately to avoid cross contamination.
Affected young children, pregnant women, elderly, and people with weakened immune systems should immediately seek treatment to avoid any complications.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.