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Food Poisoning Treatment

Food Poisoning Treatment
Food Poisoning
Causes and Risk Factors

Food poisoning treatment
The first goal of treatment in food poisoning is to address dehydration that occurs. Continual vomiting and diarrhea purge the body not only of moisture, but electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and sodium. These are necessary for healthy fluid balance in the body. In cases of severe dehydration, intravenous methods may be needed to more quickly replenish the body’s salt and moisture supply.

Food poisoning can be avoided altogether by cultivating stringent habits when dealing with food. Additionally, if it is suspected that the food was contaminated at the time of purchase, the store or restaurant should be made aware, along with the local health department. Other people who ate the same food at the time should also be alerted. Some more suggestions for preventing food poisoning via proper handling and preparation include:

  • Carefully wash hands, dishes and utensils.
  • Don’t eat food with suspect packages (dented, bulging, partially open).
  • Don’t eat foods that smell or taste unusual.
  • Don’t eat refrigerated meat, poultry or fish that has sat uncooked longer than 2 days.
  • Don’t return cooked food to the plate/container it was on when raw.
  • Don’t use out-of-date foods.
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly: 40˚F, below 0˚F for frozen food.
  • Use a cooking thermometer to insure proper heating: 
  • 160˚F for beef
  • 180˚F for poultry
  • 140˚F for fish

Additional preventative steps for avoiding food poisoning include:

  • Children under 1 year should not consume honey.
  • Dispose of diapers carefully.
  • Don’t consume wild mushrooms.
  • Don’t eat shellfish from areas suffering red tide.
  • If canning, follow proper techniques to avoid botulism.
  • Those who are pregnant or have weakened immune function should avoid soft cheeses, especially imported ones.
  • Wash hands often (especially around children).
  • When traveling, only consume hot or freshly cooked food and pasteurized water.

One or more kinds of medications may be needed to deal with certain types of severe food poisoning. Here is a list of the most common medications a doctor may prescribe:

  • antibiotics
  • anti-diarrhea medications (Nifurixsazide)
  • bismuth subsalicylate
  • intravenous antibiotics
  • oral rehydration solution

Symptoms of food-borne illness often subside within 48 hours. There are a few things you can do during this waiting period to maintain good fluid levels and alleviate uncomfortability:

  • Avoid dairy, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and processed/fatty foods until feeling better.
  • Don’t take anti-diarrhea medications, as they slow recovery.
  • Ease back into eating with easily digestible food such as crackers, toast, rice, bananas or gelatin. Stop if you feel nauseous.
  • Get lots of rest.
  • Let your stomach settle, avoiding food and drink for a few hours.
  • Rehydrate by sucking on ice chips, or sipping small quantities of water. Clear sodas or broths are acceptable. Aim for 16 glasses of liquid daily until the illness passes. But, make sure that you take slow sips every 5 minutes, or so. Otherwise, you may provoke vomiting. If the symptoms are still severe you may need intravenous rehydration.
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Tags: food poisoning, food, medications, fatty foods, thermometer, treatment, alleviate, potassium, nicotine, Recovery, symptoms, caffeine, vomiting, pregnant, Diarrhea, aim for, address, stomach, cooking, period
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