Food poisoning awareness

What is food poisoning?

Food related illness, more commonly known as food poisoning, occurs due to the result of eating contaminated, spoiled, or toxic foods. Common symptoms of food poisoning can include: nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. While quite uncomfortable, food poisoning is not unusual.

Food poisoning symptoms

If you believe you have food poisoning, chances are it won’t go unnoticed. Symptoms can vary between people depending on the source of the infection taking place. The time it takes for some symptoms to appear also depends on the typeof the infection, but it can range from 12 to 36 hours. Common cases of food poisoning will typically include at least three of the following symptoms:

• abdominal cramps
• diarrhea
• vomiting
• loss of appetite
• mild fever
• weakness
• nausea
• headaches

Food poisoning

While these symptoms may not seem potentially life-threatening there are some cases food poisoning where life threatening symptoms can include:

• diarrhea persisting for more than three days
• a fever higher than 101.5°F
• difficulty seeing or speaking
• symptoms of severe dehydration, may include dry mouth, passing little to no urine, and difficulty keeping fluids down
• bloody urine

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately.

CAUSES

A lot of food poisoning cases can be traced to one of the following three major causes:
Bacteria is normally the most prevalent cause of food poisoning. When thinking of bad bacterias, names such as E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella come to mind for some good reasons. Salmonella is the biggest culprit of serious food poisoning cases in Australia.

Food poisoning can also be caused by parasites. While this is not as common as food poisoning caused by bacteria, parasites can still spread through food and should be taken very seriously. Toxoplasma is the parasite that is seen most often in cases of food poisoning. This parasite is typically found in cat litter boxes.

Parasites can also live in your digestive tract undetected for many years before revealing themselves. However, people with these weakened immune systems and pregnant women are at risk of serious side effects as this parasites take up residence in their intestines.

However food poisoning can also be caused by a virus. One virus that is well known for this is called the norovirus, which is also known as the Norwalk virus. This virus has caused over 19 million cases of food poisoning each year. In some rare cases, this virus can be fatal.

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