Food poisoning, also known as food-borne disease or food-borne illness, is a disease or discomfort caused by consuming contaminated foods or drinks. In the United States, over 120,000 people seek medical attention annually for food poisoning.

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Among those, 3,000 die, while it takes several days and weeks for the rest to recover.

Causes of Food Poisoning

Given that food poisoning is from eating contaminated foods, factors such as bacteria growth, parasites, toxins, mold, and viruses, among others, contaminate the foods. Most food-contaminating bacteria multiply quickly under different conditions, which include,

  • Nutrients – some foods such as sea foods, meat, dairy, and egg products contain the required nutrients for bacteria growth.
  • Time – a bacterium can multiply to over 2 million bacteria in less than 7 hrs in favorable conditions.
  •  Water – have you ever wondered why dried foods don’t spoil? For bacteria to grow, water has to be available.
  • Temperature – temperatures between 5 to 60 degrees are the best conditions for bacteria growth. Therefore, keeping very hot or cold perishable foods prevents food poisoning.

Signs and Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Since food poisoning is common in kids and adults, knowing some symptoms to look for is vital. Among them include:

  • Stomachaches: Stomachaches or abdominal pains are common symptoms of food poisoning. That results from organisms from the contaminated food that secret toxins that irritate the intestines and stomach linings, causing painful inflammation in the stomach.
  • Vomiting: Over 90% of people who suffer from food poisoning naturally vomit. That is due to contractions of the diaphragm and stomach muscles, which urge you to throw up. Together with abdominal pains, vomiting is among the first symptoms of food poisoning.
  • General body weakness and fatigue: Although body fatigue and weakness are common symptoms of various illnesses, food poisoning isn’t left out. That happens due to a lack of appetite and sicky-feeling, which leaves you tired and restless.
  • Diarrhea: Among other symptoms, diarrhea is also one of the symptoms in patients with food poisoning. This is the passing out of watery stools, multiple times a day.
  • Headache: Given that food poisoning can cause vomiting and diarrhea, this can lead to dehydration and headache.

How to Prevent Food Poisoning

Whereas some people get better without seeking medical attention for food poisoning, others take weeks on medication before recovery, and some even die. Therefore, knowing some preventive measures to avoid such cases is paramount.

Below are ways you can protect yourself from food poisoning.

Maintain Good Hygiene

You can curb the spread of food poisoning by practicing good hygiene in your home or restaurant. That includes utensils, counters, a stove, and cutting boards. Washing your hands and cooking area before and after preparing food will help to curb germs.

Buy Food Thermometer

A food thermometer will help you to cook your food to the required temperatures needed to kill all the bacteria in your food.

Use a Refrigerator

In case of leftovers, put your food in a refrigerator to stop the spread of bacteria. Remember, very-cold environments hinder bacteria growth.

Do Not Mix Vegetables, Meat, Sea Foods, and Fruits

Meat and sea foods contain a lot of bacteria and need proper attention when preparation. Mixing them with vegetables and ready-to-eat fruits will contaminate them.

Globally, food safety is taken seriously by other legal standards, especially in the U.S.A. So, if a producer, restaurant, supermarket, or anyone sold you contaminated food, file for compensation and seek damages for food poisoning. However, to file a claim, you must be sure that the incident happened due to someone’s negligence and possess all the evidence of how it affected you. Then you can be compensated for all medical bills, pains, and possible future complications.

In case of fatality, family members can file a lawsuit and demand compensation for the untimely death of their loved one. With this, you need an attorney to guide you.

Parting Words

Now that you know the causes, symptoms, and preventative measures of food poisoning, avoiding anything that could trigger it is paramount. Remember to seek medical attention when you fall victim and file a lawsuit if someone is responsible.

, How to Prevent Food Poisoning and When to Seek Legal Assistance, Days of a Domestic Dad