Certain foods will always contain some bacteria. Poor handling of these foods may result in cross contamination; Cross contamination is the passing of bacteria from contaminated food to uncontaminated food. Cross contamination can occur when storing or handling food.
Food Poisoning and Food Contamination
Food poisoning occurs after eating food contaminated by bacteria. The symptoms of food poisoning are basically the same as those of stomach flu, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever, But if your child and other people who have eaten the same food all have the same symptoms, the problem is more likely to be food poisoning than stomach flu. The bacteria ...view middle of the document...
Undercooked ground beef is a common source of E. coli although raw produce and contaminated water have caused some outbreaks. Symptoms of an infection typically include diarrhoea (which can range from mild to severe) to abdominal pain and in some cases nausea and vomiting. Some E. coli outbreaks have been quite severe and have even caused deaths in rare instances. The optimal treatment for an E. coli–related illness is rest and fluids (to counteract dehydration). But if symptoms are more severe, you should see your doctor.
Most cases of food-borne illnesses, all that’s necessary is to limit your child’s eating and drinking for a while. The problem will then usually resolve itself. Infants can tolerate three to four hours without food or liquids; older children, six to eight. If you are still vomiting or your diarrhoea has not decreased significantly during this time, call your doctor
Also notify the doctor if you:
• Shows signs of dehydration
• Has bloody diarrhoea
• Has continuous diarrhoea with a large volume of water in the stool or diarrhoea alternating with constipation
• Suddenly becomes weak, numb, confused or restless and feels tingling, acts drunkenly or has hallucinations or difficulty breathing
Tell the doctor the symptoms your child is having, what foods she has eaten recently and where they were obtained. If you are dehydrated, fluid replacement will be prescribed. Sometimes antibiotics are helpful but only if the bacteria are known. Antihistamines help if the illness is due to an allergic reaction to a food, toxin or seasoning.
Most food-borne illness is preventable if you observe the following guidelines.
• Be especially careful when preparing raw meats and poultry. After you have rinsed the meat thoroughly, wash your hands and wash all surfaces that have come in contact with the raw meat and poultry, with hot, soapy water before continuing your preparation.
• Always wash your hands before preparing meals and after going to the bathroom.
• If you have open cuts or sores on your hands, wear gloves while preparing food put a coloured bandage over your cut.
• Do not prepare food when you are sick, particularly if you have nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps or diarrhoea.
• Carefully examine any canned food (especially home-canned goods) for signs of bacterial contamination. Look for milky liquid surrounding vegetables (it should be clear), cracked jars, loose lids and swollen cans or lids. Don’t use canned or jarred goods showing any of these signs. Throw them away so that nobody else will eat them.
• Buy all meats and seafood from reputable suppliers.
• Do not use raw (unpasteurised) milk or cheese made from raw milk.
• Do not eat raw meat.
Food Preparation and Serving
• Do not let prepared...