What Are Signs and Symptoms of Food Poisoning
What Is Food Poisoning?
Food poisoning is caused by bacteria and, sometimes viruses or other germs. They can get into the food we eat or the liquids we drink. We can’t taste, smell, or see germs (at least not without a magnifying instrument). Even when they’re very tiny, they can powerfully affect the body.
When germs that cause food poisoning gets into our body, they can discharge toxins. These toxins are harmful (The explanation behind the name “food contamination”), and can cause diarrhea and vomiting
Often, doctors use “food poisoning” to describe an illness that comes up quickly after eating contaminated food. Individuals get diarrhea or start vomiting within a few hours after being infected. The good news is, food poisoning goes away quickly. Majority recover in a few days with no lasting issues.
In a couple of cases, severe food poisoning means a visit to the hospital. At this point, individuals need medical treatment for food poisoning. It’s often because of dehydration. Getting dehydrated is the most common complication of food poisoning.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Food Poisoning?
How food poisoning shows up depend on the germ that caused it. A person may begin to feel within an hour or two of eating or drinking contaminated food or liquid. Sometimes symptoms may not show up for a couple of weeks. Most of the time, symptoms will clear up within 1 to 10 days. Below are Signs and Symptoms of Food Poisoning
Signs That an Individual Has Food Poisoning include:
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Belly pain and cramps
- Headache and overall weakness
In rare cases, food poisoning can make someone feel dizzy, have blurry vision, or notice shivering in the arms. In extremely rare cases, the weakness that sometimes goes along with food poisoning will cause trouble breathing.
What Causes Food Poisoning?
When people eat or drink something that’s contaminated with germs, they can get sick with food poisoning. Often, people get food poisoning from animal-based foods. Like meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and seafood. But unwashed fruits, vegetables, and other raw foods also can be contaminated and make people sick. Even water can cause food poisoning.
Foods and liquids can be contaminated at different points during food preparation, storage, and handling. For example:
- Water that is used to grow food can become infected with animal or human feces (poop).
- Meat or poultry may come into contact with germs during processing or shipping.
- Bacteria can infect foods stored at the wrong temperature or kept too long.
- Cooks or other food handlers can contaminate foods. If they don’t wash their hands or they use unclean utensils or cutting boards.
People with health conditions (like chronic kidney disease) or weakened immune system are more at risk of getting ill from food poisoning than people who are in good health.
What Germs Cause Food Poisoning?
Germs that regularly cause food poisoning include:
Salmonella. Salmonella bacteria are the main cause of food poisoning in the United States. These bacteria usually get into foods when they come into contact with animal feces. The main causes of salmonella poisoning are eating dairy products, undercooked meat, and fresh produce that hasn’t been washed well.
E. coli (Escherichia coli) E. coli bacteria usually get into food or water when they come into contact with animal feces. Eating undercooked ground beef is the most common cause of E. coli poisoning in the United States.
Listeria. These bacteria are mostly found in unpasteurized dairy products, smoked seafood, and processed meats like hot dogs and luncheon meats. Listeria bacteria also can contaminate fruits and vegetables, although that’s less common.
Bacteria Common In Meat
Campylobacter. These bacteria most commonly infect meat, poultry, and unpasteurized milk. Campylobacter can pollute water. As with other kinds of bacteria, these usually get into foods through contact with infected animal feces.
Staphylococcus aureus. These bacteria (can be found in meats, prepared salads, and foods made with contaminated dairy products). Spread through hand contact, sneezing, and coughing. This implies that people who prepare or handle food can spread the infection.
Shigella. Shigella bacteria can infect seafood or raw fruits and vegetables. Most often, these bacteria spread. When people who prepare or handle food. Don’t wash their hands properly after using the bathroom. Sometimes, an infection causes blood in the stool (poop).
Hepatitis A. People mostly get this virus from eating raw shellfish or foods that have been handled by someone who is infected. It can be hard to know the source of an infection because people may not get sick for 15 to 50 days afterward.
Noroviruses. These viruses usually contaminate food that’s been prepared by an infected handler.
Some of these, including Listeria and E. coli, can cause potentially dangerous heart, kidney, and bleeding problems. These are Signs and Symptoms of Food Poisoning. Check my next post to know how food Poisoning is Diagnosed? When to call a doctor. And how you can prevent food poisoning.