Food poisoning is a condition caused by infectious organisms when one consumes contaminated food or drink. However, sometimes it can go away on its own without any treatment. Anyone can be infected but its more severe in:
- Infants and children.
- Pregnant women.
- Those with weak immunity.
- Older people.
Food contamination happens as a result of;
- Poor cooking methods of some food e.g meat and fish.
- Incorrect storage of food especially that which needs refrigeration.
- Insufficient heating of previously cooked food.
- Poor hygiene like the use of dirty hands.
- Use of dirty water.
Causes of food poisoning.
Contaminants are germs or harmful things that spoil food/ drink thus causing food-borne illnesses. Therefore, as a result, food or drink is termed as contaminated. The following can contaminate food/drink:
- Bacteria e.g. Staphylococcus aureus.
- Viruses – rotavirus, Hepatitis A.
- Toxins and poison.
- Mold and their poison.
- Parasites e.g. Giardia lamblia.
Food and drinks that can easily be contaminated include:
- Raw meat.
- Unpasteurized milk.
- Abdominal pain.
- Loss of appetite.
- Fever especially in children.
- Diarrhea that sometimes has mucus.
Complications of Food poisoning
Common in those with weak immune systems, the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions. Again, it may lead to systemic infections that may cause:
- Meningitis especially in children.
- Blood clots in the kidney are common with Escherichia coli infection.
- Proper handwashing with soap and water before eating and after using the toilet.
- Food should be properly cooked at the right temperature and the correct amount of time.
- Also, throw away food that has mold in it as it contains toxins.
- Clean water should be used to cook, drink, and washing.
- Food should be properly stored.
- Vegetables and fruits should be washed before use.
- Physical examination- the health provider asks a series of questions.
- Stool test e.g. stool oval and cysts, rota/adeno test.
- Blood test e.g. complete blood count.
- Fluid replacement- to prevent dehydration.
- Medication e.g. antibiotics, pro-biotics, and anti-parasites.