Foodborne Illness & Poisoning
Foodborne illness, also referred to as food poisoning, is an ailment which occurs when a person ingests food that is tainted with one infectious organism or another. These organisms whether parasites, viruses, or bacteria are typically the originating source of the illness itself.
During the processing and production stages, these microorganisms have the capacity to contaminate any food that is made which is not being handled properly.
Within a few short hours of ingesting food which has been contaminated the symptoms will begin, often they consist of diarrhea and nausea/vomiting. Some cases take a little longer and begin days or weeks after the contaminated food has digested. Typically food poisoning cases are minimal and clear up on their own. Occationally in serious cases hospitalization is necessary.
Symptoms of foodborne illness differ from case to case depending on the origin of the microorganism. Here are a few symptoms which occur during most cases of food poisoning.
- Abdominal Cramping
- Loose Stools
- Low-grade Fever
The length of each individual case varies, but typically the length of a foodborne illness is between 2-3 hours and several days.
When to see a doctor.
- Please seek medical attention if you begin to experience any of the following symptoms:
- Extreme or frequent vomiting
- Being unable to keep liquids down
- Blood in stool/vomit
- Loose stools for over 3 days.
- Pain in the abdomen of an extreme or severe nature.
- Extreme thirst/dry mouth, little to no urine in a 24 hour period, dizziness/weakness/lightheadedness-These are all symptoms of dehydration
- Blurred vision, weakness/tingling in the arms
Although most cases of food poisoning are quite mild, it is always better to make an appointment with your family physician to have an exam for a proper diagnosis.