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What is food poisoning?

Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics

Food poisoning is often a preventable illness if you are focused on cooking temps, storing methods, serving times and preparation safety. It can feel like flu-like symptoms but it’s important to consider what you have consumed. So before you write it off as the flu check out the facts on food borne illness

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=10948

Food poisoning is an infection of the gastrointestinal system caused by contaminated foods.  The more common caustive agents are Salmonella, Shigella, Camphylobacter, and E.Coli.  Foods that are most likely to be responsible for these infections are undercooked meat and poultry, eggs,  foods that have been stored at the improper temperatures, and poorly washed fruits and vegetables.

Many people feel that anytime they develop vomiting or diarrhea  they have food poisoning.  Actually, viral infections are more common causes of gastrointestinal infections.  Usually with food poisoning, there is a very rapid onset of symptoms, often with fever and bloody stools. Unlike viral gastroenteritis, food poisoning often requires antibiotics to recover. Some cases of food poisoning are so severe that patients require intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.