8 Factors Causing Food Poisoning Need To Be Recognized
Have you ever had food poisoning? Everyone has the opportunity to experience it.
Today’s lifestyle makes people love to eat outdoors or hang out in a cafe. It opens the possibility of a person having food poisoning.
Even so, home-cooked food is not necessarily free from that problem. There are several factors causing food poisoning. Let’s find out.
1. Unhygienic Food
This is the most common cause of food poisoning. There are still many people who pay less attention to the hygiene of their food. Maybe they assume if they just consume unhygienic food occasionally, it will not harm their health.
2. Improper Cooking Techniques
For example, the meat is not washed with running water or the meat is only processed half cooked. If that is the case, the bacteria or parasites present in the meat are unlikely to be killed and can infiltrate your body.
3. Improper Food Storage
For example, food is not stored at the recommended temperature. Raw foods and dairy foods should be stored in the refrigerator so that the organisms in those foods can not live. The next example, food is placed in a room with warm temperatures and high humidity for long periods of time. Undoubtedly the food is likely to be a good growth medium for bacteria. In general, bacteria live at room temperature and can not live at temperatures below 9˚ Celsius and above 45˚Celcius.
4. Cross Contamination
This may happen without you even knowing it. The most common example is as follows. Without washing it first, you immediately use a knife or cutting board which has been used to cut raw meat to cut food that is ready to eat, such as bread, cheese, and so forth.
5. Improper Washing
This often happens to street food vendors. Plates, cups, spoons and forks are washed with used water. Perhaps you’ve seen them washing the plates in a bucket filled with water instead of running water.
6. Contaminated by a Sick Person
Bacteria and other harmful organisms can migrate through touch. For example, Salmonella bacteria that cause typhoid. Nevertheless, a strong immune system will be able to withstand bacterial infections. Therefore, it is good to consume vegetables, fruits and foods high in zinc.
7. Moldy Food
Wasting food is inappropriate. Therefore, it can be understood if people are trying to reprocess food that has passed the expiration date. For example, throw away the moldy part of the bread so it can be consumed. However, this habit should be reconsidered.
Although the moldy parts have been discarded, it does not mean that the remaining bread is safe to eat. It is because the fungus that has grown on the bread has invisible roots that have been ingrained and can grow back. This also applies to butter, jam, and other soft fruits.
While solid foods such as Parmesan cheese, carrots, bacon, and others are still allowed to remove the moldy parts. It is because the roots of the fungus are not able to penetrate and spread to the inside of the food. This type of fungus is harmful because it contains toxins, can cause respiratory problems or trigger allergic reactions. Just in case, you need to learn a few home remedies for food allergies.
8. Dangerous Chemicals
This is the most detrimental of the factors causing food poisoning. There are food sellers or manufacturers who mix harmful chemicals into their products to maximize their profits.
For example, to make food more supple and lasts longer, they mix formalin into food. Formalin, commonly used to preserve corpses, is a cancer-causing substance.
Food packed in cans also has risks. The chemicals contained in the can can seep into the food. This also applies to foods packed in plastic containers, especially hot foods. As time goes by these chemicals will accumulate in the body and will harm your health. Besides food with dangerous chemicals, there are foods containing high purine substances you might need to avoid.
Food Contaminating Agents
Below are some bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa that are often found to contaminate food. Some of them are familiar to you.
- Salmonella, a bacterium that causes typhoid fever.
- Escherichia Coli (E. Coli), often found in dirty water, undercooked meat and unpasteurized milk. It can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever.
- Campylobacter, can be found in undercooked meats, contaminated water and unpasteurized milk. It can cause fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
- Clostridium Botulinum (C. Botulinum), often found in canned foods with low acidity levels such as asparagus, green beans, beets, and corn. In addition, these bacteria can also be found on the chunks of greasy onions, pepper, tomatoes, boiled potatoes wrapped in aluminum paper, and canned fish. It can cause constipation and paralysis of the muscles due to the presence of nerve toxins.
- Shigella Dysentriae, often found in dirty water. These bacteria cause dysentery.
- Listeria, can be found in ready-to-eat foods (e.g. packaged bread) and cheese. These bacteria can cause miscarriage.
Speaking of abdominal pain, there are dangerous foods for stomach you need to be careful.
- Norovirus, causing vomiting and diarrhea. The virus is transmitted through contaminated food, contaminated water or direct contact with contaminated surfaces. The virus can cause serious symptoms for children and the elderly.
- Rotavirus, causing gastroenteritis or inflammation of the intestines. The symptoms are abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and fever. The virus is transmitted through infected person’s feces, contaminated food, and contaminated water. In some cases the diarrhea may progress to severe and cause dehydration.
Aspergillus flavus is a fungus that produces aflatoxin, a deadly poison and carcinogenic to humans and animals.
- Entamoeba histolytica, causing amebiasis (an infection of the intestine) and dysentery. Entamoeba histolytica is transmitted through contaminated food, contaminated water, or direct contact with infected person’s feces. The symptoms are watery stools, abdominal pain and fever.
- Giardia intestinalis, causing giardiasis or an infection in the small intestine. The symptoms are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and headache. Giardiasis is transmitted through contaminated food, contaminated water, or contact with an infected person.
- Cryptosporidium, causing diarrhea. Cryptosporidium can be found in water, food, soil, or surfaces that have been contaminated by infected person’s feces (or infected animals).
Well, those are some of the factors causing food poisoning. Avoidance of food poisoning begins with self-awareness. Maintaining cleanliness of the environment, food hygiene, and choosing a healthy diet should be a habit in everyday activities so that life becomes healthier.