What is Food Poisoning?
According to the theory of the WHO, ‘poisoning by food’ is defined as any illness caused by or thought to be concerning to consumption of food and water. It is a very wide term but will be carefully explained and analyzed here part by part.
Food poisoning as the illness is often divided into different categories by the experts in this field, in order to assist them in solving the health problems more efficiently.
Some microorganisms multiply in food and produce a toxin which poisons us when we are eating. On the other hand, other microorganisms multiply inside our own body and develop by consuming more food or drink.
The fact is not everyone who takes in a harmful microorganism or toxin will fall sick. This is because the number of microorganisms or quantity and strength of the toxin are insufficient to cause food poisoning disease, or sometimes the person has a good immunity that protects him from harmful microorganisms or we can say enjoy better health generally.
Infected person, a carrier of a food poisoning pathogens, may not yet show a visible food poisoning sign and symptoms, but still might be able pass it on someone else, who do become ill. So it is important to know that we can be asymptomatic carriers of the food poisoning pathogens.
Causes of Food Poisoning – Bacteria (Food Poisoning Pathogens)
Bacteria are weeny living things – microorganisms. Bacteria cannot be seen with the naked eye, they are so small, about one-millionth of a meter in diameter.
They are basic, single-cell creatures and are so small. There are various shapes of bacteria, and the most common are which look a bit like a rod ( bacillus ), comma ( vibrio ), ball ( coccus ) and spiral ( spirillum ).
One of the best-known bacteria is certainly Salmonella. Salmonella is one of the most commonly reported causes of food poisoning in the United States.
There are a lot of different kinds of Salmonella, but two accounts for about half of all the cases of Salmonellosis: Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium. Salmonella exists in the intestines of warm-blooded organisms and insects and their feces too.
Humans can often be carriers of this bacterium but with no visible food poisoning sign and Symptoms or ill effects. And, most importantly of all, they can pass Salmonella on to other people.
The repercussion of infection with Salmonella can be a long-term illness such as septicemia or reactive arthritis. Salmonella can have fatal consequences, especially when it comes to older people. Milk, meat, eggs, cheese, ham, ice cream drinking water has particularly connection with Salmonella. In general, there are three most common ways of getting salmonella into the human body:
– Direct contact with animal feces;
– Contact with people who don’t wash carefully after going to the toilet;
– Cross contamination from uncooked foods to cooked or clean foods.
The main problem occurs when bacteria begin to multiply, and this process can be very quick. There are great differences in the number of micro-organisms required to cause food poisoning.
Research has shown that some micro-organisms can cause damage to the human body in very small quantities. Typical examples are Salmonella and Shigella.
Time is a key factor in the protection of food poisoning. In principle, bacteria need between 4 and 4 hours to reach the adequate numbers prerequisite to cause food poisoning disease of the human body. Afterward, recognizable food poisoning sign and Symptoms appear in and outside of the human body.
So this is the exact answer to Question which most of the time asked as How long does it take to get food poisoning?
Temperature is also an important factor that directly affects the development of food poisoning micro-organisms. Perfect conditions for micro-organisms growth are:
*Mildly acidic or neutral environment (ph range between 4, 5-7). Acidic foods prevent most bacterial growth. However, at the same time, the acidic environment (fruit juice) suits the development of moulds.
*Temperature range of 40-140°F (5-60°C)
*Sufficiently nutrients for food poisoning micro-organisms.
Protein-rich foods, such as meat, eggs, dairy products are suitable for the development of micro-organisms.
*Moist conditions. High humidity accelerates the growth of bacteria and dry conditions slow it down.
*Air of lack of it. Some bacteria need oxygen (aerobic), others prefer to avoid it (anaerobic). There is a third type that doesn’t care for any of these conditions.
Not all causes of food poisoning are alive. There are different types of toxins produced by bacteria.
Toxins are not dependent on environmental conditions as is the case with bacteria and therefore can be more dangerous.
Some bacteria release their toxin into the human’s body, after eating of certain foods, and that toxin makes the person sick.
So in this case, the bacteria did not directly provoke food poisoning. But the bacteria are still dangerous because of possession of this toxic ability.
Some moulds produce toxins known as ‘mycotoxins’. ‘Mycotoxins’ can exist in foods such as peanuts, wheat, maize as well as other different types of grains and nuts and cause major health problems (even cancer) when contaminated food enters the body.
In the end, it can be concluded that food poisoning can be caused by a mould, bacteria, a virus, fungus or non-living toxins released by micro-organisms. It is very important to take all measures to meet the food quality that is provided by the institutions that deal with food safety.
These measures are often simple and should be applied in home conditions in order to suppress as much as possible the problem of food poisoning.
What can we do to Prevent the risk of food poisoning?
Unfortunately, there can be no 100 % guarantees of safety. The laboratory test is the only reliable and secure solution to protect you from food poisoning.
Before consuming the food, there’s opening a set of typical questions like how we get it, what your senses tell you, where you bought the food, what causes food poisoning, how you stored the food, how you prepared or cooked the food, etc.
Of course, the most important thing is to gain some knowledge about the way the pathogens work and about the food they like to contaminate.
It is essential to note and recognize typical food poisoning sign and symptoms at the time because the possibility of efficient delivery of emergency aid and healing is much higher.
A toxin, viruses, bacteria, yeasts, molds and natural poisons – all these things are causing much trouble to our food supplies which we consume every day.