Food is life and the way to get to a man’s heart is through his stomach. These are age-long but relevant maxims that every human being knows, believes and approves. Food is not just a basic human right but also a preserver of human existence. However, combining such an unequalled and priceless life-preserving commodity with poison sounds like an illegal paradox because poison kills while food preserves life. But in as much as these two do not mix and match the way darkness and light don’t, food in deed gets poisoned. That is why it is vital to get the basics as we move on and see what food poisoning is.
So what on earth is food poisoning? It is a medical condition that is caused by eating foods that have been contaminated by harmful organisms. These organisms are:
- Bacteria; and
These organisms are mostly found in raw meat, fish, chicken, and eggs.However; they can also inhabit any other kind of food. Also it is possible to catch food poisoning out of touching and eating food with dirty hands.
Signs and symptoms of food poisoning
The first and most notorious symptoms are:
- Diarrhea-it is the major announcer that the disease has landed;
- Stomach sickness-you may also feel sick in your tummy when you have been food-poisoned;
- Vomiting; and
- Stomach cramps.
If you notice one or a combination of these symptoms, then you are most likely suffering from food poisoning and you should consider seeing a doctor.However; sometimes food poisoning may be mild and may just disappear by itself. But if it doesn’t, then seek medical attention because it is severe and may cause fatalities.
How germs get into food
Germs get into food through the following ways:
- Meat processing-it is a natural thing to find bacteria in the intestines of animals that we use for food. While processing these animals, at times the bacteria get mixed with the meat and hence they find themselves into our bodies;
- Food washing and watering-this happens when the water we use to irrigate of wash food has human waste of animal manure. This is an easy channels to get food infected; and
- Food preparation and cooking-this happens if someone with germ-contaminated hands touches food during preparation e.g. Using one chopping board to chop vegetables and meat. If the meat had germs then they will mostly likely get into the vegetables.
Simple steps to prevent food poisoning
The following simple and routine steps are key to prevent this illness:
- Cleanliness-Always wash hands before touching food. Wash all knives, counters and cutting boards with hot and sap water;
- Separation-don’t mix raw meat with fruits, vegetables and other foods;
- Disinfect-make sure that you disinfect dish sinks and washers from time to time;
- Cook well-make sure that meat,eggs,chicken and fish are thoroughly cooked; and
- Refrigerate-make sure that all leftovers are refrigerated immediately and don’t keep cut fruits at room temperature for too long.