by Joy Thomas
Jul 4, 2020
Food poisoning, also known as food-borne illness is a common illness that affects a vast majority of people in our community. It is an illness caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water. Contamination occurs when food and water are poorly handled.
The causes of food poisoning include:
Bacteria and/or their toxins e.g. Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Clostridium spp., Campylobacter jejuni, Staphylococcus aureus, Vbirio cholera.
The symptoms of food poisoning vary in degree and combination. They include:
Abdominal pain and cramps
Stool changes (bloody or mucoid)
The complications of food poisoning may be life-threatening leading to permanent disability or even death. They are:
Acute renal failure
Neurologic symptoms e.g. blurring of vision, muscle weakness, tingling in arms
Most illnesses are mild and improve without any specific treatment. In severe disease, hospitalization may be necessary with aggressive hydration, antibiotic treatment and electrolyte supplementation. However, in all cases, adequate hydration should be maintained; liquid meals should be given initially, then semi-solid foods until recovery.
FOODS TO AVOID
Other lactose-containing foods.
Maintain a strict personal hygiene - hand washing before, during and after handling foods, proper washing of utensils and food surfaces.
Wash vegetables and fruits properly before eating.
Cook all foods adequately.
Avoid cross-contamination of raw and cooked foods.
Store foods properly at appropriate temperatures.
Drink clean water only.
Don’t eat foods you are not sure of.