Food poisoning is nothing but a disease which is transmitted to humans by means of contaminated foods or beverages.
The main cause of food poisoning is the substances in foods and beverages, which includes the following :
Toxins produced by bacteria.
Amoeba or parasites.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Some of the risk factors can include the following :
Lack of knowledge of safe food preparation.
Weakened immune system, including during pregnancy.
After you consume the contaminated food or beverage, there is a delay before symptoms arise. This delay is called an incubation period and can last anywhere from hours to weeks.
Following are some of the symptoms :
Nausea and vomiting.
Dehydration if vomiting or diarrhea is severe.
Neurologic symptoms, including headache, dizziness, visual disturbances, and seizures.
Poor urine output.
Bloody stools, bloody vomit.
Muscle aches and pains.
The diagnosis can be done by the physician by asking about the symptoms and medical history of the patient. It can be diagnosed by testing the sample of the stool or vomit. Blood test may be done to asses kidney function, blood salts and acid-base balance, and presence of blood infection. A urinalysis may also be performed. If you have some of the food that you think made you sick, you may be asked to bring it in to be tested.
Food poisoning become better in 24 hours to 5 days. Treatments include:
Drink plenty of fluids. If you are severely ill, you may need intravenous fluids.
Some types of bacterial food poisoning can be treated with antibiotics.
If you have botulism poisoning, there is an anti-toxin you can take.
Self care includes the following :-
Take acetaminophen for fever, aches, and pains.
Place a hot water bottle or heating pad on your stomach to help relieve abdominal pain.
Start by drinking only clear liquids or sucking on ice chips. Then try eating soft, bland foods, as you are able to eat without vomiting.
Avoid milk products for several days, only if their consumption worsens symptoms.
Check with your doctor before you use antidiarrhea medications.
To prevent food poisoning :
Only eat and drink milk products that are pasteurized.
Wash your hands thoroughly before touching food.
Cook foods thoroughly.
Always rinse fresh fruits and vegetables before eating them, or peel away any skin or rind.
Be particularly careful when preparing chicken.
Never put cooked meat on a surface that previously had raw meat on it.
Use separate cutting boards for meats and other nonmeat foods.
Do not prepare any recipes that use raw egg, or use powdered egg products in place of fresh egg.
Do not eat food that has been outside a refrigerator for more than two hours, or one hour in very hot weather.
Set your refrigerator temperature to below 40 degrees F.
If you are pregnant, don't eat raw shellfish, rare meat, or unpasteurized dairy products.
If you are traveling:
Drink bottled water, not tap water.
Don't order drinks with ice.
Only eat cooked fruits and vegetables rather than raw ones.
Don't eat food from street vendors.