With food poisoning treatments and prevention, certain measures can be taken to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses. These include sanitation, proper preparation and storage, and treatment.
Food is often contaminated by the people preparing it. In order to prevent you or a loved one from coming in contact with contamination, when preparing food, always take the necessary sanitation steps. Always wash hands properly before touching food. The proper hand-washing method can be viewed at FoodSafety.gov. Before preparing food, make sure all utensils and surfaces that will come into contact with the food have been properly cleaned. This eliminates bacteria that would otherwise thrive on such surfaces, spreading illness.
Four basic steps can be taken to make sure food is properly prepared:
● Clean: Wash hands and utensils before preparing food.
● Separate: Raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread illness-causing bacteria so try to keep them separated so that they do not contaminate other foods.
● Cook: Make sure all food that is not ready to eat is well cooked. Raw food is more at risk of spreading illnesses.
● Chill: Perishables can grow illness-causing bacteria within 2 hours unless properly refrigerated.
Bacteria thrive in certain environments, including on food that has not been properly stored. In order to prevent the thriving of bacteria, make sure to do the following:
● Properly can and seal foods such as jams, making sure to note expiration dates.
● Refrigerate all foods after preparation as soon as possible, and never keep longer than 3 days.
● If eating heated and then refrigerated food, always reheat food before consuming.
● Never reheat food more than once.
● Avoid eating fruits or vegetables without washing them first, and if possible, do not leave them out on counters.
For a full lists of tips on proper storage of foods, consult FoodSafety.gov.
Food poisoning is often fairly easy to treat. With enough rest and hydration, depending on the source, it may go away in a few days by itself. Medical treatment can be sought in the cases of allergens and some viral infections, and certain vaccinations can be obtained for hepatitis. The symptoms themselves can be treated with over-the-counter medications, such as antacids for stomachaches and diarrhea.
Just because food poisoning often lacks in severity does not mean that it should be treated lightly. Cases can differ from person to person, namely when it comes to allergen-caused illness. The proper medical treatment should always be sought to identify and treat all illnesses caused by foodborne toxins. For more information on individualized treatment of food poisoning and foodborne illness, consult the Center for Disease Control.