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How To Avoid Food Poisoning!

It's hard to avoid eating out these days, even without a full work load and/or children to take care of, most of us eat out at least once a week, most of us more than that. But when doing so, what should we do to avoid the effects of badly prepared and served meals?

forks
 
As nice as home cooking is. It's no fun to only eat at home. Once in a while it's to go to a nice restaurant, but even if the restaurant is upscale, it doesn't always mean you won't end up with a stomach churning experience. 
 
An upset stomach can happen when you encounter one of the following occurances:

- Poor hygiene of kitchen staff

- Spicy or oily additives 

- Poor storage of food or air leak

- Bacterial infection (Salmonella, E-coli, Amoebiosis, Helminnthiasis (worm infection) or even faecal contamination or pesticide).

upset stomachs caused by food poisoning may cuase gastroenteritis, which leads to irritation and inflmmaltion of the gastro-intestinal tract. half to 3/4 of the time, gastroenteritis is caused by a viral infection such as noro virus in adults and rotavirus in children (for which there is now, happily, a vaccine). It could also be caused by bacetrial toxins or infection as well as parasitic infections. This is when we find ourselves running between the bed and the bathroom with

upset stomach

 symptomsranging from Diarrhea and cramping, to abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. 

We don't have to look far to find the causes for gastroenteritis. Some cleaning practices must be adopted by the cleaning and cooking staff. It is easier to keep these practices at home, where you can keep an eye on your own food, but harder to leave it to personnel you do not know. Even food packaged improperly or stored at the wrong temperatures or at the wrong place may lead to food
 poisoning. 

Flies that are allowed to hover need the food may transmit fungi, viruses and bacteria from one place or animal to another. Any unwashed dishes may also lead to infection, especiall in raw vegetables and alike, that may contain tiny fauna inside.
 
Is it safer to eat HOT foods?
They may be at times, but they are not necessarily healthier. Food that has been fried twice over may kill bacteria, but will also kill off any nutrients it may have, making it a 100% trash food. In addition, hot foods may cause damage to the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract and particularly to the oesophagus. 

So how do many people eat out without getting sick? Some of it is our natural resistance to infections. Our immune system, and its condition, is the decisive factor when it comes to the question of us catching an infection or not. There are many other factors, such as our stomach acidity, the virulence and number of organisms ingested, and our own natural immune system.
 
How do we Treat?

The main and most important treatment for food poisoning is rehydrating the body, either orally or through an IV. Medicine that is anti-emetic (anti vomiting) and anti diarreheal can be taken, but rarely antibiotics unless it is a bacterial infection. In more severe cases, such as pesticide or mushroom poisioning, the stomach may need to be pumped and specific antidotes used.

But what if you NEED to eat out every day?

Some circumstances, as well as some jobs, require that we eat out almost every day. What can we do to make sure we diminish the chances of us catching an infection to almost zero?
 
Tips to Avoid Food Poisoning:

1. Inspect the kitchen of a place if possible, pay attention to the hygiene habits of staff and whether or not they clean their hands regularly.

2. Wash your hands throughly before and after the meal, after using the toilet or changing a diaper.

3. Keep utensils and serving tools clean and separated from one another

4. Do not eat or buy food past its expiry date.

5. Never accept food that looks as if it has touched another food or any other object before getting to you. If you buy food, never accept food that gets to you in a leaky or torn box.

6. Do not allow raw fish or meat to touch other foods

7. Never wait more than an hour to eat cooked food.

8. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeinated or sugary drinks
 

Image courtesy of  Ohmega1982 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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