Small child

Food poisoning - the best ways to know

Food poisoning can ruin the most beautiful vacation, long planned trip. The risk associated with it, however, does not disappear in the winter, although it actually occurs most often in the summer, when food spoils quickly and it is difficult to ensure optimal storage conditions. It appears suddenly and it is impossible not to notice it. Typical symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. How to deal with food poisoning? Can you protect yourself from it? Read, it's just worth knowing.

When is food poisoning possible?

Food poisoning develops as a result of eating a meal or drinking a drink contaminated with bacteria (less often viruses or fungi). Usually the presence of "germs" is difficult to determine through the senses. A meal contaminated with them usually tastes and smells good, so it's difficult to know the danger in advance. When bacteria enter the digestive tract with food, they usually release toxins that cause unpleasant symptoms in a sick person - diarrhea and vomiting.

A characteristic feature of food poisoning is that it occurs within a few hours of consuming poisoned food. The reaction is fast and not too distant in time.

Symptoms of food poisoning

Most often, food poisoning symptoms appear within a few hours of eating a contaminated meal, less often after a few days. They usually disappear after 1-3 days. The child is most often accompanied by:

  • abdominal pain,
  • painful cramps
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • fever,
  • apathy,
  • lack of appetite
  • weakness,
  • general malaise.

Is food poisoning dangerous?

Food poisoning is usually not dangerous. When the body handles contaminated food, i.e. everything will be removed from the body through vomiting or diarrhea - the symptoms disappear on their own.

The only risk to keep in mind is risk of dehydration. Acute vomiting or diarrhea can lead to it, which is why it is so important to counteract it, which in fact is not difficult. A healthy child who is given fluids, however, rarely gets this condition. However, remember to suggest water not immediately after vomiting, but about 15 minutes later and only in small portions.

The most common microorganisms that cause food poisoning

Food poisoning is most often caused by:

  • Salmonella - the bacterium responsible for most poisonings, most often the infection occurs by eating dairy products, undercooked meat and unwashed fruit and vegetables,
  • E coli - gets into food and water as a result of contact with animal excrements, can occur as a result of eating raw or semi-raw meat,
  • listeria - the source of infection is most often unpasteurized dairy products, seafood and fish,

How does food contaminate?

The source of food poisoning can be foods of various types: dairy products, meat, and even fruit and vegetables. The problem can be not washing products before processing, as well as storing food products in improper conditions. For example, meat may be contaminated with microorganisms during shipment, fruit may be watered during watering, and storage may be a problem at low temperatures or for too long. Contamination can occur when cooking a meal due to the use of dirty hands, dishes or a chopping board.

Who is particularly at risk of food poisoning?

They are exposed to food poisoning especially those with reduced immunity or those whose immune system has not yet developed (children under 4 years). People who are chronically ill, for example because of kidneys, are also more likely to get sick.

When to see a doctor