Is it stomach flu or?

21076478_s

No, Not the stomach flu, but food poisoning!

 Food poisoning is any unwellness that results from eating contaminated food.

What can you do to protect yourself and your family from food poisoning?

  There is not a month that goes by that I don’t get a call from a patient and they report not feeling well, and when questioned to see if they have a refrigerator thermometer, more often than not they say no. When they get one and check the temperature in the refrigerator they often times find that it is to warm and they are getting low grade and acute food poisoning.

 Causes

Bad microorganisms are the culprit. Bacteria in particular.

 Effects can be mild to Severe.

Don’t assume that the symptoms you are having are the flu. The flu can seem similar but usually don’t come on so strong and immediate.

The average  person who gets food poisoning and is not already ill from some other condition can get through the process with out to much distress.

The typical Vomiting and Diarrhea are the most common symptoms. But cramps and pains of all types can occur. Some can get fevers as well depending on the species of microbe they ingest.

Certain people can have much more serious problems.

Certain groups of people are more susceptible to food poisonings impact on them. These groups are more likely to get sick from bad microbe contaminated food and, if they do get sick, they really get deathly sick, and the effects for them are much more serious and devastating. These are the one who are most at risk. They are the ones that need to go to the hospital emergency room ASAP.

Pregnant expecting women

Young children as well can be at risk.

Older senior adults with health issues and on medications.

People with chronic unwellnesses and mystery unwellness should be dealt with immediately.

When you shop be very careful.

When you go to get eggs or any animal protein in the store make sure you get one of the produce plastic bags and use it as a glove. Slip your hand inside and then grab what your buying and pull the bag down over it and use a bag tie to tie it. This way you won’t contaminate yourself or others.

Remember that the conveyor belt is also very contaminated and is never properly cleaned. So what ever you put on it is most likely going to have at least salmonella. So when you get home be careful where you set things and remember that it can be a source of contamination.  So if someone in front of you in line is putting down on the conveyor belt fresh meats of any kind go to another line.

Storing things at home or traveling.

Store perishable foods, such as dairy, meats, fresh fruits and vegetables in a clean refrigerator at a temperature of 38° F or below.  And when you travel from the store to your home make sure you have an ice chest in the car for dairy, meats and quick perishables. It takes a very short time for frozen food to begin to thaw and when that happens no matter what it is, do not re-freeze them!!!!!!! This is an area the creates food poisoning over and over again. Don’t make more food than you are going to use that day.

Don’t put hot food in the refrigerator. Don’t let food cool setting out on the counter uncovered either. Don’t let people pick off of the serving plate as this is a quick way to introduce bad microbes from their hands to the meal yet to be served. Make sure hands are washed very well with each shift you have between food types. Like animal proteins to vegetables for example. Don’t forget to do the same with the utensil.

How to prepare foods.

Begin with and maintain clean hands through the whole process.  Keep some peroxide wipes on the counter to use. Wash your hands for two minutes with warm water and soap before and after preparing all foods.

Don’t keep old food that is showing signs of aging. Especially the animal protein area. Don’t leave butter set out on the counter to soften. Don’t Thaw things on the counter. Do it in the refrigerator. The same can be said of all dairy products of any kind.

All produce should be thoroughly washed before eating. And it is best to do a 5 minute soak in GSE. ( grapefruit seed extract, found at you local health food stores.)  Put 15 drops into a sink full of water and swish around and then put you produce in and wash with it. Rinse fruits and vegetables under running filtered water just before eating, cutting or cooking.

Stay away from pre-packaged salad mixes. Make your own.

Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first.

Do not use soap to wash produce with, and do not use sponges in the kitchen. Use plastic scrubbers that can go into the dishwasher..

Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.

Get a salad spinner to get water off of produce for the leafy stuff.

You can not be to clean with the kitchen and the foods you use.

Illness-causing bacteria can survive in many places around your kitchen, including your hands, utensils, and cutting boards, storage containers, appliances etc.

Wash hands the right way for two minutes with soap and running water. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

Don’t use any kind of cutting board unless it is glass or metal. The others will build up microbes.

Wash fruits and veggies but not meat, poultry, or eggs. Even if you plan to peel fruits and veggies, it’s important to wash them first because bacteria can spread from the outside to the inside as you cut or peel them.

Don’t cross-contaminate.

This is where most people will get into trouble.

Even after you’ve cleaned your hands and surfaces thoroughly, raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can still spread microbes from one place to the other.

Use separate cutting boards, plates, and utensils for raw (uncooked) produce and for raw (uncooked) meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs. When done with cutting boards spray them with hydrogen peroxide and let them sit for about 15 minutes then rinse and put in the dishwasher.

Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods while you’re shopping at the grocery store. Put them in other bags that you get from the produce area. Bag tie them.

Keep meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods in the refrigerator also, this is very important.

When you cook an item make sure that it is completely cooked.

So many people think they can tell when food is done simply by checking its color and texture, there’s no way to be sure its safe without following a few important but simple steps.

Use a food thermometer.  Check online to see what food you are cooking temperature settings. They can vary with gas or electric.

When you get the food home.

Bad bacteria can grow on and in your foods between one to two hours and in some cases depending on the food source in as little as 20 minutes, unless you refrigerate them. This is so much more the case in warm weather.

When you are transporting cooked foods or previously cooked foods they need to be kept at a very hot temperature and maintained. Check the internet again to see what your food temp should be for transport of storage waiting to be eaten. The same for any food. Keep it either very cold or very hot. Especially for picnics and related things.

Most foods will go bad fairly quickly when not cared for well.

DO YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY A BIG FAVOR AND GET A THERMOMETER AND USE IT.

HERE IS ANOTHER TIP NO BODY WANTS TO HEAR. BUT I  AM GOING TO TELL YOU ANYWAY.

WHEN YOU EAT OUT OR AT A FRIENDS HOUSE THEY WILL NEVER DO THE KIND OF CLEANING NEEDED TO PREVENT FOOD POISONING, UNLESS THEY HAVE BEEN PATIENTS OF MINE, AND ACTUALLY FOLLOW WHAT THEY HAVE LEARNED.

SO JUST KNOW THAT WHEN YOU EAT OUT OR GO TO THAT FRIENDS HOUSE ITS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE YOU GET FOOD POISONING.

IN ORDER TO PREVENT IT SO YOU CAN GO OUT OCCASIONALLY AND TAKE THE RISK, YOU NEED TO BRING FOOD OF YOUR OWN WHEN YOU CAN. THE SAME CAN BE SAID FOR THE UTENSILS, PLATES AND GLASSES.

AND IF YOU ARE A PATIENT WHO HAS MADE IT TO THE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM, YOU CAN ASK ME WHAT TO TAKE PRIOR TO EATING OUT TO HELP PREVENT THE BAD OUTCOME THAT CAN AND EVENTUALLY WILL HAPPEN.