Food poisoning is usually followed by dreadful symptoms that involve the digestive system. These symptoms can be difficult to control and treat and they can last anywhere from 24 hours to 10 days. In rare cases food poisoning can be fatal. Food poisoning results when someone eats or drinks something that contains bacteria or another type of toxin. Food poisoning can also be caused by viruses and parasites. Certain chemicals can also cause food poisoning. However, most people develop food poisoning as a result of bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
Contamination can occur anytime during food processing or handling. Symptoms of food poisoning include fever, loss of appetite, fatigue, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Usually, symptoms are mild to moderate, though undoubtedly unpleasant, and a person can just wait for them to stop, resting and trying to stay hydrated during the course of the illness. A visit to the doctor is recommended if you experience any of the following: vomiting lasting more than two days, blood in the vomit or bowel movements, inability to keep liquids down for 24 hours, severe abdominal pain or cramping, severe diarrhea or a temperature over 101.5 F.
Symptoms of food poisoning will often show up within just a few hours of eating contaminated food. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, food poisoning may show up days after the tainted food has been consumed. Generally speaking, a person can expect his symptoms of food poisoning to disappear within 10 days. Some episodes last for one day.
Avoid Food Poisoning
Wash your hands thoroughly before handling any food products. This is especially important if you have pets at home.
Ensure all cutting boards, knives, cooking utensils and surfaces that your food will come into contact with have been thoroughly cleaned prior to use.
Wash all raw fruits and vegetables before you eat them.
Ensure that any food coming from an animal source (meat, eggs, dairy) has been pasteurised or thoroughly cooked all the way through before consumption. If a restaurant serves you undercooked meat or eggs, send it back and make sure your corrected order comes on a new plate.
Thaw foods in the refrigerator or use a microwave, not at room temperature. Do not let animal-based foods (meat, eggs, dairy) sit at room temperature for an extended period, cooked or not.
Refrigerate leftovers promptly. To prevent the possibility of infection, thoroughly reheat all leftovers before you eat them.
Exercise caution when selecting andn preparing fish and shellfish products. Choose the freshest possible products when purchasing them. Fish can be a source of some of the most dangerous types of food poisoning.
Understand safe meat storage practices. Meat from different sources (such as chicken, beef and pork) should not be stored atop or even directly beside oneanother. Keep the chicken with the chicken, the beef with the beef and the pork with the pork, in separate storage areas.
Check expiration dates both before you buy and before you eat, particularly when dealing with meat products.
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