This is probably one of the easiest way to get infection, aside from getting air-borne diseases – food. Most infections from food are treatable, but why is food a common ground for infection?
There are what we call food-borne diseases. These are caused by consumption of contaminated foods. Foods contain different kinds of microbes and pathogens, mostly are disease-causing. There are also harmful chemicals that might be added to your food, causing some microbes to be reactive and may lead to food contamination.
Currently, there are roughly 250 recorded food-borne diseases which consist of varieties of bacteria, parasites, and viruses that are food-borne. Other disease may be caused by chemicals, harmful toxins, or even poisonous components of certain foods like poisonous mushrooms. The only way for these microbes to get inside your system is through consumption of contaminated food. The gastrointestinal tract is a very sensitive part of our body. Once we digest these microbes, it will eventually develop into some diseases that may lead to manifestation of signs and symptoms of a certain disease or illness. This kind of illness is referred to as food poisoning.
Foods that are usually not properly prepared – with regards to utensils used to prepare and cook the food, poor sanitation, or could be that the cook may carry some virus or bacteria. Health is akin to cleanliness and sanitation. Without sanitation consciousness, food becomes the official carrier of such disease-causing microbes into the human system.
Cross-contamination is also a common factor in food-borne infections. This usually happens when raw meat is placed on cooking utensils and when these utensils are not thoroughly washed and cleaned before using them for another food or if the cook didn’t wash his/her hands, contamination may take place. This can cause infections like staphylococcus-aureus and Clostridium perfringens. Never forget to wash hands properly before handling food. Always keep your utensils spic and span before using. Doing these simple routines will save you and your foodies from diseases and money for medical consultation and treatment. Of course, the kitchen must be free from pesky creatures, clean and spotless.
Canned foods can also gather microbes or such when stored for a long time. Make sure to boil any jars or lids that contain food or see to it that all containers are properly sealed to avoid contamination. Ingestion of expired food can also cause food poisoning. Spoilage can cause microbes to grow and even mutate, contaminating the food. Every food product contains a food label. You should always check for the expiration date to avoid consuming expired foods and products. This is one of the deadliest food poisoning risks globally, Botulism.
You should always heat or re-heat or food properly. Foods are meant to be cooked thoroughly. A specific heat temperature should be able to kill the microbes that may be lurking or hiding in your food. If not, these can carry out and bring bacteria or any kind of contamination to your meals. Reheating is not always a safe way to consume your food after freezing it for a long time. Bacteria and other microbes can grow in your food if you didn’t store or freeze it at the right temperature. You can kill some of these by cooking your food thoroughly, making sure that the heat can penetrate even the deepest part of your food. Most common bacteria that you’d get from raw or uncooked meat are E. Coli and Salmonella and may induce symptoms like fever, bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, and vomiting.
What you eat is not always healthy. Make it habit to check by using your senses – sight and smell. If unsure, dispose off properly.