4 Simple Tips to Avoid Food Poisoning
Prevention is better than cure… Food poisoning can be avoided if you follow some precautions. Here are the main ones.
Food poisoning – what is it?
Food poisoning is the result of the unintentional ingestion of bacteria, toxins, parasites, or viruses via contaminated food or drinks. Contamination occurs during cultivation, harvesting, processing, storage, and especially preparation.
Food poisoning is generally mild and does not require special treatment, but some can be fatal.
How do they manifest?
Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever, headache, and diarrhea are the most common symptoms of food poisoning. They appear a few hours or days after intoxication and last less than a week.
Food poisoning caused by neurotoxins (fungi, seafood) is the most virulent because they affect the central nervous system: paralysis, excessive salivation, mental confusion, facial pain, rash, sweating, vertigo, or even coma, can occur.
People at risk
Some people are more likely to have food poisoning than others.
This is particularly the case for the elderly, pregnant women, infants, children, the chronically ill (diabetes, liver disease, autoimmune disease), and, in general, any individual with a weakened immune system.
Do not break the cold chain
The most common food poisoning is that caused by bacteria and is directly related to the methods of food preservation and preparation. Among the best-known bacteria are Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Shigella, Staphylococcus, Campylobacter, and Clostridium perfringens.
To avoid the proliferation of bacteria, some precautions should be taken daily. Fresh food should be taken last from the fridge and not be left out of the fridge for too long. Similarly, during the preparation of meals, the ingredients will be placed in the fridge to not be exposed to heat, which promotes bacterial growth.
1. Wash your fruits and vegetables well
Parasites such as Giardia lamblia can cause food poisoning when they are present in fresh fruits and vegetables via cultivated land. That’s why it is recommended to wash your fruits and vegetables, even if they are organic.
To wash them properly, soak them in white vinegar and then use a soft brush to brush them without damaging them before rinsing them with water and drying them well with a cloth or absorbent paper.
2. Cook your food well
Inadequate cooking of meats, eggs, fish, dairy products, creams, and creampies promotes the proliferation of bacteria.
Besides, some viruses, due to agricultural products, can cause food poisoning if consumed raw or after insufficient cooking.
Bacteria and viruses do not withstand high temperatures. Cooking your food well provides protection against food poisoning.
3. Check the edibility of food
Food poisoning can also come from the consumption of foods that are not edible, such as fungi.
Poisonous and non-poisonous mushrooms are very similar. Same for plants, berries, etc. In case of wild harvesting, systematically present your harvest in a pharmacy before any consumption.
4. Discard long-lasting water bottles
Bottled water contains bacteria, especially if you drink directly at the neck and/or if you reuse your bottle. It has been proven that a bottle of reused water contains 20 times more bacteria than a dog’s bowl…
Using water in a glass and not reusing it helps prevent the growth of germs. However, even without drinking from the bottle, the bacterial count of bottled water increases sharply after 6 weeks if it is not stored in the fridge. If the ozone treatment of the water bottles prevents food poisoning, it is better to refrigerate them after opening if pathogenic bacteria were reintroduced during the opening.