Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is an illness caused by eating contaminated, spoiled, or toxic food. There are five pathogens that are responsible for most foodborne illnesses, although Salmonella and norovirus are the more common reasons for trips to the emergency room.
The symptoms of food poisoning are not the same for everyone, but usually cases will typically include at least three of the following symptoms:
Although it causes discomfort, food poisoning isn’t uncommon. Anyone can get food poisoning, but certain groups of people are more susceptible to the complications that it may bring. These people are children younger than 5 years, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and adults aged 65 and older. Their bodies’ ability to fight germs and sickness is not as effective because of the state of their immune systems or because they are simply more likely to get sick from certain germs.
Food poisoning in older adults
Older adults are more prone to complications from food poisoning because as people age, their immune systems become impaired and can no longer fight off infections and other illnesses like they used to. There are certain strains of E. coli that can lead to hemorrhaging and kidney failure among older adults, so if an adult over 65 has symptoms of food poisoning, it’s best to contact their primary care physician for advice.
When to call a doctor
If it has been 2 days since your symptoms first appeared, it’s time to call a medical professional. Bloody stool, nausea, muscle weakness, and stomach cramping are severe symptoms and you must consult a doctor immediately if they occur.
4 steps to take after food poisoning
1. Let your stomach rest. Avoid food and drink for a few hours to let your stomach settle.
2. Stay hydrated. You can start by taking small sips of water or sucking on ice chips. Other liquids that you can consume to avoid dehydration are sports drinks (with electrolytes), non-caffeinated soft drinks, decaffeinated tea, and chicken or vegetable broth
3. Stick to bland food. If you think you’re ready to keep down food, you may start eating bland, low fat, low fiber food. Examples of these are bananas, cereals, toast, and plain potatoes. Avoid fatty foods because they are hard to digest and you don’t want to upset your stomach further.
4. Try natural remedies. Try drinking ginger tea to soothe your stomach. When you start feeling better, you can start consuming natural yogurts or probiotic capsules for at least 2 weeks if you wish to replace your normal intestinal flora.
Important note: DON’T take an over-the-counter anti-diarrhea drug without a doctor's OK. Your body needs to follow its natural reaction in purging the digestive tract of the harmful bacteria.
Preventing food poisoning through safe food preparation
You can't see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause foodborne illnesses, but it always pays to be on the safe side. Food poisoning can be prevented simply by ensuring that your food is handled safely. This means not leaving your food outside of the fridge for too long, heating meals up to the correct temperature, and ensuring that your food is not out of date.
By ordering Gourmet Meals’ snap frozen meals, you can rest assured that only the highest quality ingredients are used during the preparation, and that the strictest of food safety guidelines are adhered to. Our meals go straight from the pot into the blast freezer, a process which freezes the meal within 30 minutes, ensuring all the nutrients and flavours are retained without the use of added preservatives.
Our meals are stored and delivered at minus 18 degrees Celsius and need to be stored in your freezer until you are ready to heat and eat. There is very little chance of the meals spoiling or becoming cross contaminated by this method of preparation and preservation, minimising the chance of foodborne illness.
Order from our Gourmet Meals’ extensive range of great tasting, nutritious and delicious meals here and you can be certain that you will be eating a high quality and “safe to eat” meal.
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