Recently, there have been a few mentions of food poisoning in the news. Not long ago, romaine lettuce was recalled due to an E. coli outbreak. While food recalls are infrequent, food poisoning can occur in processed foods from the grocery, restaurants or at home. Recognizing the symptoms is important, so you can get medical help right away.

The Causes of Food Poisoning

There are many types of germs that can cause food poisoning. The toxins produced by some germs also cause food poisoning. One of the most common types of germs is found in kitchens across the nation – Salmonella can be found in many places, from raw eggs to raw meat. E. coli and staphylococcus are also culprits. When these germs contaminate food and the food is ingested, sickness follows.

Recognize the Symptoms

There are a variety of symptoms associated with food poisoning. Among those are:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal pain or cramps

  • Fever and chills

  • Headache

  • Weakness

The onset of symptoms is usually within two to six hours of ingesting the contaminated food. If others have consumed the same food and they are feeling ill as well, chances are you are experiencing food poisoning. Medical treatment is advised. Your doctor may perform tests to find out what type of contaminant is making you ill.

In many cases, the illness is mild and will ease after a two or three days. One of the main issues is dehydration. Diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration to occur rather quickly. Maintaining a healthy level of hydration is important, so you will need to get plenty of fluids into your body. Your doctor may need to prescribe medicine to help control diarrhea and vomiting.

Prevention of Food Poisoning

It may be somewhat difficult to prevent food poisoning away from home, but there are plenty of things you can control to make it less likely you will get it. Always make sure your meat is cooked properly. When you eat out, requesting well done is safer. Always wash fruits and vegetables before eating them. You never know about the origins of your food unless it comes from your own garden.

Avoid cross-contamination in your kitchen. Don’t use utensils, countertop space or cutting boards for both raw and cooked food. Always use clean utensils, cutting boards and counter top space for cooked foods. When reheating foods, make sure you heat them to the proper temperature and don’t leave food out too long.

It’s also very important to wash your hands before handling food. Some outbreaks of food poisoning in restaurants have been linked to lack of handwashing. It’s a simple thing that can make a big difference.

The attorneys at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., promote active, healthy living. With offices in the southwest Florida communities of North Port, Port Charlotte, and Englewood, we provide excellent legal service for those who have sustained a personal injury through no fault of their own. We specialize in personal injury law and provide our clients with a free initial consultation. Please contact us for more information.