Summer is a wonderful season when we can finally go on vacation, camping or just enjoy being outside. Ruining these perfect days would be a shame. Meanwhile, the summer time is when food poisonings are most frequent. Inna Chernysheva, M.D., told MedPulse.ru how to avoid food poisoning and what causes it.
In her words, the most common reason of food poisoning is consumption of food containing pathogens or toxins.
Food poisoning occurs when food is not fresh, did not get sufficient thermal processing or if hygiene breaches occured during cooking.
“Salmonella, staphylococcus bacteria, dysentery bacillus and other agents may cause food poisoning. These diseases are widely spread in Russia and the rest of the world, which is caused by the increased role of food services, centralized manufacturing of foods, hygiene breaches, and environmental contamination. Most often infection penetrates the intestines with animal or human feces that get to the food or hands contacting food, but there are other ways to catch an infection. Meat and dairy products are the most common source of infection as they spoil quickly in warm environment. Usually people count on milk being fine for a few hours without refrigeration, but it is not the case.
If you go camping or having a picnic, the chances of hygiene breaches are very high. Simply touching food with unwashed hands can cause food poisoning. Some people, especially kids, eat unwashed food and berries right from the garden. Children should be watched carefully in summer and explained that dirty and unripe fruit should not be touched.
Usually not very fresh fruit is cheaper, and we buy it without thinking about the consequences only to suffer from indigestion later.
Stoves are not always available during camping trips. Some people eat unheated ready-to-cook foods or cook on a bonfire.
Food poisoning is dangerous because symptoms sometimes appear only in 24 to 48 hours, and the reason of illness is hard to identify.
Nausea, stomach and muscle aches, fever, indigestion, headaches, dizziness and loss of consciousness are typical signs of food poisoning.
If you have a food poisoning you may want to use enema and take 4 to 6 pills of absorbent coal that absorbs toxins. Drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration.
If symptoms do not disappear for more than 48 hours, consult a doctor. If you have serious food poisoning, call an ambulance.
To avoid food poisoning follow these rules:
1. Keep perishable products refrigerated . Raw meat and fish should be kept in a freezer unless you will be cooking them immediately.
2. Do not eat food after its shelf life is over, even if it looks fine.
Foods that do not smell fresh or have mold on them should be thrown away.
3. Always wash your hands before cooking or eating.
4. Meat has to be fully cooked. Cooked meat looks brown and has no pink spots on it.
5. Fruit and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before consumption.
6. Avoid unripe fruit.
7. If you are offered unknown food, have a small portion.
8. Avoid eating in places where you have any doubts about the quality of food.
9. If you go on vacation make sure to bring absorbing coal and indigestion pills.