The best ways to get over food poisoning
It only takes a few simple steps to make sure food is safe to consume. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, four steps are needed to reduce food-related risks. First, cleaning one’s hands, work surfaces and the tools used to prepare food to avoid contamination. Secondly, separating food, particularly raw goods, from ready-to-eat ones can make an enormous difference. Further, just cooking food for enough time can also help rid of harmful microbes. And lastly, when food needs to be stored, it’s best kept chilled at a temperature not higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
But what if a simple bag of crisps makes the diner sick? Or store-bought sweets upset their tummy? Even with such healthy food choices and practices, food poisoning is something people can’t always predict. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to grow and prepare their own meals. In reality, many suffer from food poisoning, with a whopping 2.4 million cases of food-borne illnesses in the UK every year.
If illness is caused by manufacturing lapses, it is the consumer’s right to file a complaint. For instance, Law firm Schmidt & Clark urges those who got sick from eating Eggland’s Best’s hard-boiled eggs to seek their legal advice. This was after a large-scale recall notice of hard-boiled eggs from the company by the US FDA last December 2019. (Check more on this page for similar accounts.)
Those stricken with food poisoning must immediately attend to their medical needs to avoid the situation leading to something more serious. The most common symptoms include diarrhoea, nausea, stomach cramps and vomiting. In some cases, people can also experience a lack of appetite and fever. To help, here are some ways to ease discomfort and aid recovery.
As the symptoms suggest, food-poisoned individuals usually visit the loo more often than usual, and in the process, fluids and electrolytes are lost. To replace these, it’s important to drink water with oral rehydration salts or ORS. Sucking on ice cubes also helps, as this gradually introduces water into the body without risking further vomiting. If the symptoms are too persistent, it may be necessarily to be hospitalised and intravenously receive the fluids and salts. Sufferers should constantly check for signs of dehydration to bridge the gap as early as possible. These signs include exhaustion, weakness and even an irregular heartbeat.
Food poisoning introduces harmful bacteria to the gut and kills the healthy population. The regrowth of beneficial microflora can be supported by consuming drinks or food containing probiotics. Yoghurt is one of the more popular sources of these, but it’s a good make sure that it has active or live cultures – and with as little sugar as possible. Vegan choices include tempeh and kimchi. Probiotics may also come in pills. Taking these regularly may potentially strengthen and protect the gut from future illnesses.
Though these foods can help, stuffing oneself with them can actually do more harm than good. It’s best to ease back into eating by starting with smaller portions of easy-to-digest snacks such as gelatine and bananas, then gradually incorporate more solids. Other recommended foods include rice, oatmeal, boiled greens and bland potatoes. During recovery, avoid eating anything that is highly seasoned or contains dairy products, caffeine or high levels of fat.
Ginger has properties that relieve dizziness, and turning this into tea can help. Another herb that can help soothe the tummy is mint. The water component of the drink also helps in hydration.
Apart from signs of dehydration, there are other things one needs to look out for. Anyone with a high fever, rectal bleeding or symptoms that do not go away after a few days and prevent them from rehydrating orally needs immediate medical care. As mentioned earlier, it’s sometimes necessary to be admitted to hospital for better monitoring. The physician may also prescribe antibiotics, depending on the severity and diagnosis. However, it’s important to remember not to take any drug unless it’s prescribed by the doctor. Over-the-counter medications such as loperamide may cause more issues, rather than helping.
The editorial unit