The national food safety organization revealed one in six Americans will become ill from food poisoning each year, which is over fifty million individuals. While everyone is susceptible to contracting food poisoning, the most vulnerable are the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic illnesses. However, most who contract food poisoning will only experience symptoms from a few hours up to a few days. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, blood in stool, and joint and muscle aches. In other cases, you might experience dehydration, dry mouth, dizziness, blurry vision, weakness, and tingling. The source of food poisoning originates from many sources such as bacteria and viruses, cross-contamination, mold and toxins, and parasites.
Bacteria And Viruses
Bacteria and viruses are two of the most common sources of food poisoning, though bacteria leads due to improper storing of food. Foods most capable of growing bacteria at dangerous levels include dairy, meat, shellfish, fish, and poultry. If these items are not stored properly or kept at room temperature for more than the recommended time, they will rapidly grow bacteria and make individuals ill. Cold food must be stored at forty-degrees Fahrenheit or less, and hot food must be stored at 140-degrees Fahrenheit or more.
Generally speaking, food should never be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Also, raw poultry and meat must be cooked to the recommended internal temperatures for each particular food to stop the dangerous levels of bacteria accumulated during cooking preparation. When food is undercooked, you will become ill. Some viruses are also present in food and will make you sick such as some caliciviruses, Norwalk virus, norovirus, hepatitis A, and rotavirus.
Continue reading to learn about the next common source of food poisoning.