Foodborne Illness Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

  posted by: Rio Dianne



Foodborne Illness Symptoms, Causes, and TreatmentWhen we consume food or beverages contaminated with bacteria, virus, and parasites, we can suffer from a disease known as foodborne illness. This is commonly known as food poisoning, and although this is usually mild, it can pose great risks especially when interventions aren’t given accordingly.

It is noted that 40 million people in the US are affected with this disease every year. Moreover, there are instances when epidemic outbreaks happen in different parts of the world. This should be a cause for alarm thus it is also important that you have knowledge about foodborne illness symptoms, causes, and treatment. Learn more to find out.

Foodborne Disease – Causes

There can be a variety of causes for the condition, but the leading cause is thought to be due to bacteria which are present on foods. Some of the noted pathogens include:

  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • E.coli
  • Campylobacter
  • Listeria

These bacteria may be present in the food which you buy especially raw meat, and fruits and vegetables which are processed or grown in soil. The method of preparation such as leaving the food items for two hours can also be another cause of the bacterial disease. Transmission can also be via dinking water as well as recreational ones (swimming pools) and via direct contact with the infected person.

List of Food Associated with the Disease

  • Raw meat and poultry
  • Raw eggs
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Raw shellfish

Symptoms of Foodborne Illness

The most common symptom present is diarrhea alongside bouts of vomiting. This normally lasts for 1 day to 1 week.  Other symptoms noted are as follows:

  • Mild fever
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue

How to Treat Food Poisoning

The course usually runs its course and may go away in days. Thus home remedies may be performed to cure the problem. You can try some of the following as treatment method:

  • Increasing fluid intake especially water and sports drink to prevent dehydration
  • Home remedy via intake of ginger tea to alleviate nausea and vomiting
  • Application of measures to bring down fever
  • Rest and relaxation to allow the body to recover
  • BRAT and soft diet

For a more serious problem especially to children, pregnant women, and elderly who are at risk for dehydration, hospitalization may be needed. Drug therapy such as antibiotic treatment as medication may be given for bacterial infection, but not for viral infection. Intravenous fluids may be given to replace lost electrolytes and fluids from diarrhea and vomiting. Make sure that you visit your healthcare provider to plan appropriate treatment accordingly.

Prevention Tips to Avoid the Disease

Through proper handling of food, illnesses such as this, you can prevent the problem. With this, it is important that you perform the following:

  • Keep the food hot.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling food especially when you’ve handled contaminated article such as diapers and tissues.
  • Cook food thoroughly.
  • Make sure that you wash the food products before actually cooking them.

Foodborne illness can be a great pain toward your health. It can bring you a whole deal of stress which is why there is more than one reason why you should take measures on how you can prevent it. Good luck!


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