Foodborne Illness

What is a Foodborne Illness?

A foodborne illness is better known as food poisoning. And it is exactly that: poisoning from the consumption of contaminated food, from the bacteria, viruses and parasites that infect food, or from toxins in food, such as poisonous mushrooms. Causative microbes, including salmonella and E. coli, make food poisoning contagious through vomit or faeces.

Symptom summary

  • Diarrhoea — sometimes with blood in it.
  • Vomiting.
  • Fever.
  • Stomach cramps.

Prevention tips

Medical Practices

Keep it light!
Avoid solid foods until you stop vomiting. When your appetite returns, try eating small, light portions and soft, bland foods such as rice or bread. And don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids - sipping little and often - to keep hydrated!

Remember the Four Cs
Cleaning (sterilised work surfaces and utensils will help to kill off harmful bacteria and viruses), Cooking (thorough cooking will destroy any bacteria that may have made its way into your food), Chilling (the correct refrigeration temperature will stop bacteria from growing and multiplying), and avoiding Cross-contamination (when germs are transferred from foods to foods — either directly, by dripping onto or touching, or indirectly from hands or kitchen utensils).

Hygiene Habit

Wash your hands regularly!
Frequent handwashing with disinfectant soap - especially after going to the toilet, before preparing food, and before and after eating - will improve hand hygiene and help to stop the spread of food poisoning to you and your loved ones.

Mythbusters

  • Washing your hands quickly before preparing food is enough to keep you safe…

    No. You should wash your hands thoroughly at key moments throughout the day; before eating (breakfast, lunch and dinner), after using the bathroom and when bathing.

  • You can tell when food has gone off because it looks or smells bad…

    Sometimes you can tell if food is spoiled — but not always. Germs are invisible. Don’t risk it. If in doubt, throw the food away.

    For more tips from Lifebuoy on health and hygiene, read our articles.

Medical source : British Health Authority

References:

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