How to Prevent Food Poisoning During Summer
Food poisoning is an illness caused by ingesting contaminated food or drink. Food poisoning symptoms occur when harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins in food and drink are ingested and begin to multiply in the digestive system. Food poisoning is a common problem, especially during the summer months when temperatures are high. This creates an ideal environment for bacterial growth. Food poisoning symptoms vary depending on the pathogen. However, the most common symptoms are:
- Nausea and Vomiting:
Nausea and vomiting are among the most common symptoms that people might experience when they have food poisoning. The body tries to remove toxins, and thus the patient might experience nausea and vomiting.
- Abdominal Pain and Cramps:
Cramps might range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by bloating and discomfort.
This is also among the common food poisoning symptoms. Stools may be watery, loose, or contain blood.
Food poisoning may cause a slight fever. However, not all types of food poisoning cause fever.
- Weakness and Fatigue:
The body’s immune response to infection can cause weakness and fatigue.
- Decreased Appetite:
Food poisoning can cause a temporary loss of interest in food due to nausea and upset stomach.
Some people experience headaches due to food poisoning.
- Muscle Spasm:
Certain types of food poisoning can cause muscle pain and physical discomfort.
If vomiting or diarrhea is severe and prolonged, it can lead to dehydration. Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, excessive thirst, and decreased urination.
It is important to note that food poisoning symptoms may appear within hours to days after eating contaminated food. The duration and severity of symptoms also depend on the specific pathogen and individual factors. If food poisoning is suspected, it is recommended to see a doctor, especially if the symptoms are severe or last for a long time. Depending on home remedies for food poisoning when symptoms are severe may not be a good idea.
Tips On How To Prevent Food Poisoning
Food poisoning is common in summer months. However, with proper precautions, the risk of food poisoning can be greatly reduced. Here are some valuable tips and practices on how to prevent food poisoning in summer:
1. Handle Food Cautiously
- Wash hands:
Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling food. This applies to both home cooking and outdoor cooking.
- Use clean surfaces and equipment:
Make sure all kitchen surfaces, cutting boards, utensils are clean and sanitized before use.
- Separate raw and cooked foods:
Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods during storage and cooking to avoid cross-contamination.
- Use separate cutting boards:
Use separate cutting boards for raw meat and other foods to prevent the spread of bacteria.
2. Store Food Items with Great Care
- Right refrigeration & cooling:
Store perishable foods such as meat, dairy and leftovers in the refrigerator below 4°C to slow the growth of bacteria.
- Rapid cooling:
Divide large amounts of cooked food into smaller containers to cool faster. This prevents the growth of bacteria that thrive at room temperature.
- Date of expiry:
Check the expiration date of the food and consume it before the expiration date.
3. Use The Correct Defrosting Method
Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator, under running water, or in the microwave. If you thaw food at room temperature, it can lead to bacterial growth.
4. Thoughtful Grocery Shopping
- Fresh foods:
Choose fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid fruits and vegetables that show visible signs of spoilage or damage.
- Insulated pockets:
When shopping for groceries, use insulated bags or coolers to keep perishable foods at the proper temperature during transportation.
- Last minute purchase:
At the end of your shopping trip, buy refrigerated or frozen foods to minimize time spent at room temperature.
5. Follow Safe Outdoor Cooking Practices
Marinate meat in the refrigerator rather than on the countertop to prevent bacterial growth.
- Suitable grill:
Cook the meat thoroughly on the grill to kill harmful bacteria. Make sure you’re reaching the recommended internal temperature using a food-grade thermometer.
- Avoid cross-contamination:
Use clean utensils and plates when removing cooked food from the grill to avoid contact with raw or undercooked gravy.
6. Ensure Sanitary Picnics and Potlucks
- Radiator packing:
When going for picnics during summer, store perishable foods in coolers with ice packs to keep them warm.
- Temperature Monitoring:
Use a food thermometer to keep cold foods below 4°C (40°F) and hot foods above 60°C (140°F).
- Time limit:
Do not leave perishable food for more than 2 hours (1 hour if temperature exceeds 32°C or 90°F).
7. Be Careful with Buffets And Salad Bars
- Check the temperature of the food:
If served from a buffet or salad bar, make sure hot food is warm (60°C or above) and cold food is cold (4°C or below).
- Fresh cookware:
To avoid cross-contamination, use clean utensils and do not use the same utensils for different foods.
8. Consume Safe Water and Ice
- Water source:
Drink bottled water while traveling or use filtered or boiled water to make tap water is safe to drink.
- Ice safety:
If you are unsure of the quality of your ice, avoid using it in your drinks or make sure your ice is made from purified water.
9. Keep Yourself Well Informed
- Stay up to date with the news:
Get the latest information on food safety guidelines and outbreaks through trusted sources such as state health agencies and reputable food safety agencies.
- Teach children:
Educate children on proper food hygiene practices. Make sure they learn to hands from an early age.
- Recognize and respond to symptoms:
Familiarize yourself with the most common food poisoning symptoms. If symptoms appear after eating food, be aware of when and how long symptoms appear. Be wise about when and when not to use home remedies for food poisoning as a treatment.
10. Avoid Certain Food Items
- Raw or undercooked meat:
Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat such as beef, chicken, pork, and seafood. Boil thoroughly to kill bacteria.
- Unpasteurized dairy products:
Choose pasteurized milk, cheese, and other dairy products, as unpasteurized can harbor harmful bacteria.
- Raw egg:
Do not eat raw or lightly cooked eggs as they may contain salmonella. Choose pasteurized egg products for recipes that call for raw eggs.
Shellfish can cause food poisoning, so buy from a reputable source and cook thoroughly.
Be careful with raw sprouts, such as alfalfa and sprouts, as they have been associated with E. coli and salmonella outbreaks.
- Ready-to-eat hot dishes:
If you choose to eat at a restaurant, choose hot, freshly prepared food to minimize the risk of consuming contaminated food.
11. Seeking medical assistance
Seek immediate medical attention if symptoms are severe or persistent, or if accompanied by high fever, dehydration, or bloody stools. A medical professional will make an accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment.
By following these important tips on how to prevent food poisoning, you can greatly reduce your risk of food poisoning in the summer.
Doctor At Home In Dubai | First Response Healthcare
If you experience severe food poisoning symptoms, instead of depending on home remedies for food poisoning, it is important to see a doctor. If you need a doctor at home for food poisoning treatment, First Response Healthcare (FRH) is just a phone call away. FRH is a JCI-accredited home healthcare company in Dubai, providing patients with fast and reliable care in their own homes. FRH has received the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Committee of International Standards for its international quality service. FRH staff provide quality service to all people, regardless of age or nationality.
FRH has a team of DHA-licensed doctors who provide their 24/7 services for food poisoning treatment or any other ailments. Our doctors can come to you wherever you are in the Emirate of Dubai, whether it’s your home, office or hotel. We can reach you within 30 minutes after you book an appointment with us. Our doctors are internationally trained and have extensive experience. Our doctors can diagnose and treat digestive problems, allergic reactions, fevers, colds, migraines, respiratory disorders, chronic conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, skin disorders, and other ailments.
First Response Healthcare Offers:
- Premium Service:
Our clients and patients get a first-class experience with treatment and follow-up delivered with personalized care and attention.
- Diagnostic Tests:
Our team can help with laboratory tests required for diagnosis. We make sure we give test results as soon as possible to expedite clinical decisions about treatment.
- Referrals to Specialists:
Our doctor can refer you to a specialist or to an inpatient facility.
- Treatment for All Ages:
We treat patients of all ages, right from children to the elderly.
Our doctors provide advice, diagnosis, treatment for children as well as referrals to specialists when needed.
- Pharmacy Delivery:
We can get your medications dispensed as quickly as possible with access to our 24-hour pharmacy partner services.
- Referral to Physical Therapy:
If necessary, our doctor can refer you to an inhouse physical therapist for injuries and other concerns.
- Chronic Diseases:
We also diagnose, treat and help manage chronic conditions, including pain management.
To avail the service of a doctor at home for food poisoning treatment, you can call on 0505050387 or 800DIALDOC. You can also reach out to us by visiting https://firstresponsehealthcare.com/ae/dubai