Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is an age-old illness which is mainly caused due to consuming foods that contain harmful bacteria, viruses and other toxins. According to government reports, symptoms of food poisoning begin within six to twenty-four hours of the toxic exposure. Now, the question is how you would spot and consume the right food in order to keep the odds of food poisoning, completely at bay? As a student of nutrition, you might have sought academic assistance from essay writer to crack tricky “Food & Nutrition” topics. But, the real-life upheavals are way too trickier and intricate than what you have read in your academic textbooks. 

Unless you are able to identify or abide by the right diet, you would always be at risk of suffering from stomach cramp, diarrhoea, and vomiting on acute levels. So, the best way to develop healthy living standards and combating the challenges of food poisoning is by identifying and striking high-risk foods off your diet chart. 

READ ALSO : 11 Tips for Leading a Healthier Life

So, how about reading this blog to fathom out the bigger picture? 

  1. Undercooked poultry foods 

Raw or undercooked poultry foods are always at a high risk of being exposed to harmful bacteria and viruses. These germs are infamously known to contaminate fresh poultry meat during the time of slaughter. According to reports, the germs can survive until boiling. So much so, even mild cooking can’t kill them. This makes it important for you to monitor the entire cooking process and see whether the meat has been cooked thoroughly. 

Also, it is equally critical for you to purchase poultry meats and eggs from reputable stores. Wondering why? According to research reports from the UK, US and Ireland, 41%-84% of raw chicken sold in supermarkets was found to be contaminated by the dreadful Campylobacter bacteria. 

  1. Rice 

This might be a shocking revelation for most of us. Rice is apparently one of those foods that carry acutely contaminated germs, which could expose you to the risk of food poisoning. Especially, when it comes to consuming uncooked rice, the diet is said to be always at the risk of carrying spores of Bacillus Cerus

It is a bacterium which is infamously known to produce toxins that can cause food poisoning. The most alarming part of the entire scenario is the fact that the spores can survive dry conditions as well. This means, the germs can live through your package of uncooked rice in the kitchen or even when the rice is cooked. While you cannot ignore the existence of rice as a staple diet, or strike out the name from your diet chart, you can always take a couple of necessary precautions in the following manner. 

  • Do not keep cooked rice standing at room temperatures for long. 
  • If you wish to lower the risk of food poisoning, serve the rice as soon as it gets cooked. 
  • If you have to reheat the cooked rice, and then make sure it steams hot in a way it is supposed to be. 
  • Refrain from developing the habit of consuming refrigerated rice for more than a couple of days. 
  1. Unpasteurised dairy product 

This is yet another critically notable diet that can pose great threats to healthy lifestyles and in the form of upheavals caused due to food poisoning. Pasteurisation is basically the process of heating foods and liquid substances in order to kill harmful microorganisms. 

Food manufacturers are said to pasteurise dairy products such as milk and cheese to make them safe and secured for healthy consumption. 

Even though safety standards are maintained during the process of dairy product pasteurisation, one must always choose to abide by the following guidelines to minimise the risk of poisoning. 

  • Do not purchase anything other than pasteurised products. 
  • It is critically important for you to store all dairy products at or under 40°F (5°C). 
  • Refrain from consuming unpasteurised milk by any means. 
  1. Pre-prepared fruit salad 

Certain fruits and pre-prepared fruit salads are said to be at high risk of posing acute food poisoning threats to your health. Fruits such as berries and melons are often linked with food poisoning criticalities. While consuming at least one fruit every single day is counted as a healthy habit, one must avoid certain names in the salad list. Here’s everything you need to know. 

  • Do not go for Cantaloupes in your salad. According to reports, Cantaloupes accounted for 56% of food poisoning outbreak. 
  • Also, try and avoid consuming watermelon. The fruit accounted for 38% food poisoning cases. 
  • Next up is Honeydew Melon and Berries. 
  • Berries are basically grown in contaminated water. 
  • Poor hygiene habits and the risk of cross-contamination often make these fruits unsafe for daily life consumption. 
  • So, if you have plans for including berries in your salad delicacy, make sure the fruit isn’t contaminated in any aspect. 
  • Moreover, do not consume the fruit if it has been kept or refrigerated for more than 2-3 days.
  • Always make it a point to wash fruits thoroughly, prior to consuming them. 
  • No matter whether you would eat salads or opt for a wholesome fruit diet, do not go for a bite without washing them properly. 
  1. Raw Sprouts 

Raw sprouts in any form or shape can be dangerous to your health, with a high risk of your body succumbing to food poisoning ailments. Raw sprouts including sunflower, alfalfa, clover sprouts and mung bean are said to have a high risk of carrying food poisoning germs. 

This is due to the presence of bacteria including E. Coli, Listeria and Salmonella. Since most sprouts grow amid warm, moist and nutrient-rich climatic conditions, bacteria find such conditions ideal for breeding. 

So, the idea is to strike sprouts off your diet list. According to FDA (Food and Drug Administration), pregnant women should avoid consuming any type of raw sprouts. Since they are specifically vulnerable to the threats of bacterial infection, they could easily develop food poisoning symptoms, leading to other criticalities. 

  1. Deli Meats 

Deli meats include salami, hot dogs, ham and bacon. They are said to be often at the risk of becoming contaminated due to exposure to harmful elements out there. These may include bacteria such as Staphylococcus Aureus and Listeria. The infection might strike hard at different levels during the time of processing and manufacturing. 

It is to be noted that contamination might occur directly via contact with raw, contaminated meat. Also, poor hygiene standards of deli meat staffs might turn out to be one critical factor behind such setbacks. 

No matter whatever the reason is, one must choose to abide by the following precautious measures to eliminate the risk of food poisoning through deli meats. 

Well, here are a few advisory guidelines on how you can consume deli meats safely, without being subjected to the downturns of food poisoning. 

  • Make it a point to store deli meats in refrigerator. 
  • Store sliced lunch meats in refrigerator, until the time they are completely ready to be eaten. 
  • Never leave meats undercooked under any circumstances. 
  • If you are aiming to hoard meats for an entire week, it is advised not to do so. 
  • Instead, opt for easy purchase, buy and store smaller chunks for not more than 2-3 days. 
  1. Seafood 

While seafood is the call for the food lovers’ gastronomic cravings, one cannot ignore the risk of food poisoning associated with it. If we are to talk about illnesses that might occur due to seafood consumption, there are different ailments to be mentioned. 

The Ciguatera poisoning is said to be one critical illness that might occur due to the presence of ciguatoxin. The most fearful part is the fact that ciguatoxin cannot be destroyed by normal cooking or heating. 

This means even if you cook the fish thoroughly, your food could be at a high risk of carrying the toxic substance. So, take note of the following guided steps and embrace a healthy eating habit, as you gorge on your favourite seafood platter. 

  • You can always separate raw and cooked seafood to avoid the risk of cross-contamination. 
  • Cook seafood at 145°F, or at least until the fish becomes softer and ready to be flaked easily with a fork. 
  • Refrain from consuming fishes such as red snapper, American eel, Orange Roughy and the Atlantic salmon. 
  1. Cheese 

This is yet another food which is said to be at a high risk of contamination. Especially, pregnant women are asked to refrain from eating soft cheese such as feta and ricotta. According to medical research, contaminated cheese contains Staphylococcus aureus. It said to be often transmitted to the cheese from an infected person who has already been suffering from the bacterial infection. 

Follow these precautious measures to prevent cheese contamination effectively. 

  • Make sure the cheese is stored at 5°C.
  • You should wash your hands thoroughly prior to handling the cheese. ‘
  • It is advised to wear single-use disposable gloves while preparing cheese snacks or other recipes. 
  • Say “No” to buying unpasteurised cheese products. 
  • Always make sure to buy cheese products, solely from reputable dealers or stores. 
  1. Leafy greens and vegetables 

Even though leafy greens and vegetables are considered healthy, they are also at high risks of contamination on various grounds. For example, when vegetables come in contact with dirty processing equipment, there would always be a risk of high contamination, which would eventually lead to food poisoning. Since leafy greens are mainly consumed raw, they are said to be at the highest risk of contamination. In addition, the other infamous veggies in this list include: 

  • Tomatoes 
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach 
  • Lettuce and Celery 

Here’s how you can eat fresh vegetables and prevent your health from the risks of food poisoning. 

  • Always wash your vegetables thoroughly, before cooking. 
  • Utilise the potential of vegetable cleaners in order to eliminate all germs that could apparently contribute to food poisoning. 
  • Do not buy vegetables in huge quantity. You might just miss out on spotting mushy leaves. 
  • Avoid consuming pre-prepared salad or the ones that come in sealed packages. 

In Conclusion 

I hope this lucidly explained blog is successful in introducing to the foods that might affect your health with acute food poisoning ailments. Now that you are aware of the bigger picture, take smart calls, follow the right diet chart and choose your food wisely. 

Cheers!