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What you need to know about food borne illnesses

Tuesday, March 05, 2013 by: Sandeep Godiyal
Tags: food borne illness, causes, contamination

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(NaturalNews) Food borne illnesses refer to diseases that result from consuming foods that are contaminated by viruses, parasites and pathogenic bacteria. These are also diseases that take place due to natural or chemical toxins found on certain foods like poisonous mushrooms. Among the major causes of these illnesses are the improper preparation, storage and handling of foods so everyone is advised to practice proper hygiene prior to, after and during the preparation. This reduces the risk of getting the disease.

Understanding the most popular food borne illnesses and their major causes

A huge number of people believe that food borne diseases occur naturally but people should be aware of the fact that there are some unnatural practices that actually trigger their attack. There are also a few simple, preventive measures that everyone can do. Here are some of the most common food borne illnesses that tend to affect a lot of people as well as their major causes and possible preventative measures:

1. E.coli.
Also known as Haemorraghic colitis, Barbecue Season Syndrome and hamburger disease; this food borne disease is mainly caused by the popular bacterium called Escherichia coli. This specific bacterium is capable of producing toxic or poisonous substances that tend to damage a person's intestine lining, thereby causing pain and diarrhea. It should be noted that while there are those who quickly recover from the disease, probably within two weeks, there are also those who experience more complications especially if it leads to HUS or Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome. This condition tends to dangerously affect the blood and the kidneys of its sufferers and is particularly harmful to the elderly and young children. Among the major symptoms of this condition include:

  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Bloody diarrhea for around two to eight days
  • Dehydration

To prevent this disease, everyone is advised to thoroughly cook all types of meat to destroy all organisms present in it. Cooked meats should also be served immediately. For those who cannot serve the meats right away, they are advised to keep them at a hotter temperature. Refrigerating leftover meats right after eating is also a huge help.

2. Salmonellosis. This food borne disease is mainly triggered by the bacteria called salmonella. This has the tendency of multiplying in a person's small intestines while also invading his/her gut lining. It is often characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration

The bacteria commonly exist on the feces of domestic and wild animals and of humans. Foods like raw eggs, meat, poultry and other egg and meat products also contain salmonella. This disease is often linked to the inadequate cooking of poultry, light cooking of foods that contain eggs, improper pasteurization of dairy products and raw sausages. To prevent the disease, everyone is advised to thoroughly cook their foods especially egg and meat products and make sure that any food products that have high salmonella content are properly handled.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov
http://www.health.alberta.ca/health-info/foodborne-illness-common.html
http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/foodbornedisease/index.html

About the author:
Sandeep is an mountain climber, runner, and fitness coach. He shares his tips for staying in shape and eating healthy on quickeasyfit.

More articles from Sandeep:
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