Foodborne illnesses: Common and treatable Foodborne illnesses: Common and treatable

Foodborne illnesses: Common and treatable

Trends 25 August, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.

The most common causes of foodborne illnesses include bacteria and viruses. Less commonly, they can be caused by a parasite or chemical.

While the symptoms of these types of conditions depend on the cause; they generally include an upset stomach, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever and dehydration. It is important to keep in mind that the majority of foodborne illnesses are severe, which means they occur suddenly and are short in duration.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases suggests that in order to prevent dehydration, people with food poisoning should replace the liquids and electrolytes they lose. Also, if the discomfort lasts for longer than 48 hours, you should see a doctor who can determine what treatment should be administered.

How does bacteria get in food?

  • Microorganisms can already be in food products when you buy them. For example, raw meats, poultry, fish, seafood and eggs are not sanitized. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also not sanitized such as lettuce, tomatoes and melons.
  • Thousands of types of bacteria are found naturally in the environment. Not all cause disease, however; some are used in the production of cheese and yogurt.
  • Even foods that are cooked or are ready-to-eat can be contaminated by bacteria from raw food products, the juices from meats or other contaminated ingredients as well as by people that handle food without proper food hygiene practices. Often, foodborne illnesses can be prevented by cooking or processing the food.

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