What is Food poisoning?

Food poisoning can occur when a person eats or drinks food contaminated with certain types of:-

  • bacteria,
  • viruses, and
  • parasites.

Food can be contaminated during:-

  • growing,
  • processing,
  • handling or
  • through dirt, dust, and water found in the environment.

Food poisoning causes symptoms of:-

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach pain and
  • diarrhea,

usually within 48 hours of eating the contaminated food. The symptoms of food poisoning are often caused by chemicals (toxins) released by the infecting bacteria. Food poisoning may spread if a person comes into contact with stool from an infected person.

· Safe food preparation, such as

  • cooking foods thoroughly,
  • storing them properly, and
  • hand-washing before preparing food will help prevent food poisoning.

Examples of bacteria types that may cause food poisoning include:-

  • salmonella,
  • shigella,
  • campylobacter and
  • E. coli.

Viruses that may cause food poisoning include noroviruses. Parasites that may cause food poisoning include Toxoplasma gondii.

Botulism is a rare form of food poisoning that can be caused by eating foods that were not canned properly.

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