When humans consume food that has been contaminated with bacteria, parasites, viruses, and toxins, it results in food poisoning. The most common symptoms are stomach pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, and a lack of appetite. Food poisoning is more likely to affect pregnant women, small children, the elderly, and people with chronic conditions. Certain foods when stored or prepared poorly can result in poisoning. Exposing high-risk foods like fish, mutton and milk to warm temperatures for long hours is inviting trouble.
Protein-rich food is at a greater risk of contamination than other kinds. Seafood from polluted water and canned foods that are opened and kept unrefrigerated can be risky. Be careful of vacuum-packed foods. Damaged, leaky, rusty cans with broken seals are a concern too. Leftover food is another cause of food poisoning. Frozen food like frozen pizza leads to bacteria propagation. Fluctuation in the temperature of the refrigerator is another cause, in addition to improper thawing.
Precaution to take
● Purchase meat, poultry, eggs and fish from reliable sources only.
● Wash utensils with hot water and scrub them with soap.
● Avoid putting cooked food in utensils that have previously held raw meat or poultry.
● Use pasteurised food.
● Make sure to freeze perishables within two hours. They should be chilled within an hour during
● Smoked fish should be heated at least 85 degrees C for 30 minutes or frozen immediately.
● Use only properly processed canned foods. Reject gassy canned foods.
● Avoid consuming leftover food or at least reheat properly.
● Wash fruits and vegetables with clean water or a disinfectant.
● Simply wiping the kitchen counter is not enough. Sanitising it is important. Make sure to buy a liquid that is unscented.
● It is crucial to wash hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet and before handling raw meat and poultry.
The author is a dietician and the founder of NUTR, a wellness brand