Food poisoning is easily preventable. Maintain good hand hygiene and ensuring that you consume clean, well-cooked food are key to prevention.
You decide to snack on a sandwich at your favourite roadside vendor’s, but you get really ill the next day. If you experience loose motions, vomiting or stomach cramps, it could be a case of food poisoning.
Food poisoning is commonly caused due to food contaminated with infectious viruses, bacteria or parasites. These cause nausea, vomiting and dysentery.Knowing how food can get contaminated and what the symptoms of food poisoning are can make it easier for you to prevent it entirely.
Causes of food poisoning
It is important to know what food and habits you need to avoid in order to prevent food poisoning. Watch out for:
*Eating expired food products: Expired food items are hotbeds of infectious organisms.
*Consuming undercooked food: Raw food–fish, meat, poultry items and cold cuts– harbour infectious bacteria like E. Salmonella. Make sure you cook all non-vegetarian food well.
*Eating contaminated food: A person suffering from diarrhoea and handling food may pass on the germs to others.
* Unclean hands: Dirty hands are a major factor in the spread of foodborne diseases.
Food poisoning symptoms
The symptoms of food poisoning depend on the kind of contaminated food or drink you’ve consumed. Look out for the following common warning signs:
– Watery or bloody stools
– Stomach pains
– Muscle pain
– Loss of appetite
If your symptoms persist for over two days, please seek medical assistance.
Preventing foodborne illnesses
Being clean and hygienic can prevent food poisoning. Here are a few ways to keep yourself and your family healthy:
1) Wash your hands: Unclean hands spread infectious organisms from person to person. Wash your hands before eating meals, before handling food, peeling or cutting food items, etc. Wash your hands with a liquid anti-bacterial handwash after visiting the toilet. Use a good hand sanitiser to clean your hands in case you aren’t around any handwash and water. Look for hand wash and sanitiser that offer 99.9% protection against germs.
2) Clean your refrigerator: Your own fridge can be the reason behind your food poisoning bout. Make it a point to throw away expired and spoilt food items regularly. Also, ensure that your raw food isn’t in direct contact with your ready-to-eat consumables, and that your meats are frozen.
3) Disinfect kitchen surfaces: Any counters that you have used to prepare food must be immediately disinfected. This goes a long way in curbing the spread of germs.
4) Cool, cover, refrigerate: Cool down any cooked food within an hour and refrigerate it. Ensure that you cover all cooked meals before putting them in the refrigerator.
It is easy to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses. Simply handle your food with clean hands and eat at hygienic places to keep the symptoms of food poisoning from affecting your health.