Types Of Foods To Avoid & Tips To Prevent Food Poisoning

13/05/2021

Types Of Foods To Avoid & Tips To Prevent Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a common phenomenon. Every year, thousands of people fall prey to food poisoning and sadly, some even lose their lives due to food poisoning and other foodborne diseases. Although fatality is an event that occurs in extreme cases, with people from high-risk groups, it is wise to prevent the condition from occurring as it can be easily prevented. Here are some effective tips that can help you prevent food poisoning.

What Is Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning is an illness that typically occurs when pathogens contaminate food or water which are then consumed by humans. The illness can cause an upset stomach, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

Types Of Foods To Avoid

Food contamination or foods that can cause food poisoning are not just limited to meat and poultry. Fruits, vegetables and home-cooked meals can be potentially dangerous too. Not always will the contaminated food smell or taste awful. Sometimes, such contamination may go unnoticed, which is the major cause of food poisoning.

Potentially high-risk foods include the following:

  • Raw and poorly cooked meat and poultry
  • Foods containing poorly cooked meat and poultry such as casseroles, curries and lasagna
  • Dairy products such as custard
  • Hams and salamis
  • Uncooked or poorly cooked seafood
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Soft cheese such as feta, brie, camembert, blue-veined and Mexican-style cheese
  • Unpasteurized cheeses
  • Expired packaged food
  • Sprouts such as mung, clover, and radish
  • Junk or fast foods
  • Fried and fatty foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Alcohol

Tips To Prevent Food Poisoning

  • Wash Your Hands: Wash your hands thoroughly before eating, handling food, after handling raw food and after touching the bin, toilet seat, pets or sneezing.
  • Wash Kitchen Tops, Knives and Utensils Thoroughly: Wash your kitchen tops and utensils before and after food preparation, especially after they have been in contact with raw meat and poultry. You can wash them with plain water and soap.
  • Cook Food Thoroughly: Cook your food at the designated temperature to ensure all the bacteria are killed.
  • Refrigerate: Refrigerate the leftovers within two hours of cooking. Leftovers of food that are exposed to a high temperature must be refrigerated within an hour of cooking.

High-risk Groups

People who are at a higher risk of developing food poisoning include infants and children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with chronic conditions such as HIV, liver disease, or diabetes.

Managing Food Poisoning

Here are a few tips that can help you manage food poisoning at home.

  • Keep Yourself Hydrated: It is extremely important that you keep yourself hydrated if you’re suffering from food poisoning as vomiting and diarrhoea can cause dehydration. Munching ice chips or taking small sips of water can help. Drinking sports drinks that contain electrolytes can be extremely helpful.
  • Eat Bland Food: When you think you’ll be able to eat some food, ensure that you eat bland, light food with low fat and low fibre that are gentle on your stomach. Bananas, cereal, egg whites, plain potatoes and plain rice are ideal in such times.
  • Get In Touch With Your Doctor: Seek medical assistance when you feel extreme discomfort or if the symptoms linger around for more than a couple of days. Severe symptoms such as bloody stool, dizziness, muscle weakness should not be taken lightly. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience these symptoms.
Ms T Shanti Priya
Senior Dietition – Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital

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