So, let’s look at some foodborne illnesses you should to be aware of.
E. Coli is typically found in raw meats or fresh vegetables tainted during the growth and processing phases. It’s so dangerous because it binds to the walls of blood vessels, and can lead to serious kidney failure or stroke.
Symptoms: Severe abdominal cramps, watery diarrhea, and vomiting. Occurs several days after exposure.
Listeria is a bacteria that can contaminate fresh produce, and some unpasteurized dairy. Scrub raw produce, especially the outsides of cantaloupe, etc., and dry before cutting.
Symptoms Fever, muscle aches, upset stomach or diarrhea. Occurs 2 days to 2 months after exposure.
Salmonella is also a bacteria that can affect any food. It has been found in chicken eggs before the shell forms, so even clean, fresh eggs may harbor it. Other foods include fresh produce, raw meat (turkey, beef, pork, lamb, etc.), and processed foods. (Remember the peanut butter outbreak years ago?)
Symptoms: Stomach cramps, fever, diarrhea 12-72 hours after exposure. Symptoms typically last about 4-7 days.
Thank goodness this is rare but when it happens it is debilitating, and potentially fatal. Culprits are typically home-canned or improperly preserved foods (especially canned). Oh, and let’s not forget probably the most common source…BOTOX! Yes, botox can cause botulism, and there are a surprising number of cases of this. So if you get botox and start having these symptoms, go to the ER or call your doctor immediately for the anti-serum as it must be administered within the first few days of exposure.
Symptoms: Cramps, vomiting, double vision, weakness, paralysis, and difficulty breathing . This is a medical emergency so call 911.
Clean all your food inside and out before cutting. Clean your utensil and counter tops after preparing any food, and always wash your hands well after handling. Know which foods have a higher risk when eaten raw, and cook these when possible. Avoid rare meats, and if you do eat them have a higher awareness for symptoms.