With loads of food to eat, tempting left overs and new bites to taste during this festive season, chances of food poisoning are high, and you want to know how to relieve the discomfort.
Food poisoning is illness caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms, including bacteria, viruses and parasites or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning.
Food poisoning symptoms, which can start within hours of eating contaminated food, often include nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. Most often, food poisoning is mild and resolves without treatment. But some people need to go to the hospital.
Many bacterial, viral or parasitic agents cause food poisoning. Food poisoning often improves without treatment within 48 hours.
To help keep yourself more comfortable and prevent dehydration while you recover, try the following:
• Let your stomach settle. Stop eating and drinking for a few hours.
• Try sucking on ice chips or taking small sips of water. You might also try drinking clear soda, clear broth or noncaffeinated sports drinks, such as Gatorade. You’re getting enough fluid when you’re urinating normally and your urine is clear and not dark.
• Ease back into eating. Gradually begin to eat bland, low-fat, easy-to-digest foods, such as soda crackers, toast, gelatin, bananas and rice. Stop eating if your nausea returns.
• Avoid certain foods and substances until you’re feeling better. These include dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or highly seasoned foods.
• Rest. The illness and dehydration can weaken and tire you.
Contamination of food can happen at any point during its production, growing, harvesting, processing, storing, shipping or preparing.
Cross-contamination, which is the transfer of harmful organisms from one surface to another, is often the cause.
This is especially troublesome for raw, ready-to-eat foods, such as salads or fruits. Because these foods aren’t cooked, harmful organisms aren’t destroyed before eating and can cause food poisoning.
Leftover food is more likely to be contaminated too, so, needs to be stored and heated properly before it is eaten.
Source: Mayo Clinic Staff
SOURCE: Daily Monitor