Types of Food Poisoning and Prevention


Food poisoning can happen to anyone who swallows contaminated food. Most people get well on their own, but some become more ill. You’ll be more at risk if you’re older than 65, pregnant, or have a weak immune system. Young children are at risk, too, especially from dehydration.

What is Food Poisoning?

It’s also referred to as foodborne illness, which occurs when one eats contaminated food. Contaminated food is infected with a toxic organism such as fungus, bacteria, virus, or parasite. At times the poisonous byproducts of the microorganisms cause food poisoning.

When one eats something toxic, the body reacts to purge the toxins. You may remove the toxins by diarrhea, vomiting, or fever. Your body’s way to return to health you’ll experience the uncomfortable symptoms of food poisoning. It normally works in 1-2 days.

How to Differentiate Between Food Poisoning and Something Else

It can be difficult to determine where your infection came from, especially if it took several days to develop symptoms. However, you might be able to trace the infection back to something you ate if it was something associated with food poisoning or visit a 24-hour ER for your doctor to evaluate the cause and if you were together with someone who got sick.

Who Gets Food Poisoning?

If you eat something contaminated, you can get food poisoning, and anyone who eats it can also get food poisoning. It depends on how much toxicity one’s body can tolerate without getting sick.

The body’s immune systems fend off infections constantly without us knowing. So even when you have sanitary food handling practices, there’s normally a small amount of contamination in the food. It becomes poisonous when your body’s immune system reaches its threshold, and you should visit an emergency clinic immediately.

Who is Most at Risk from Food Poisoning?

According to our doctor at Express ERs on Main Site, many people are more likely to get sick from food poisoning. Others may react more severely to food poisoning if their immune system is not strong enough. In addition, some conditions can impact your immunity, such as:

  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy is always demanding on the body, leaving pregnant women with fewer resources than usual to help fight off infections.
  • Chronic Illness: Chronic conditions affect your immunity, including cancer, infections, and autoimmune diseases.

Types of Food Poisoning

There are many types of food poisoning. Some of the common causes include:

E. coli: It’s normally found in raw vegetables and undercooked meat. E. coli bacteria produce a toxin that irritates the small intestine. Shiga toxin is the one that causes foodborne illness.

Salmonella: Undercooked poultry and raw eggs are common sources of this type of poisoning. It also occurs from pork, beef, vegetables, and processed foods that contain these items. If you suspect you’re suffering from these bacteria, visit an emergency room near you for treatment.

Hepatitis A: This can be spread through water, shellfish, and ice contaminated by stool. It’s not a chronic infection, but it can affect your liver.

Norovirus: One can get norovirus by eating leafy greens, undercooked shellfish, fresh fruits, or consuming food prepared by a sick person. This virus is commonly associated with stomach flu. If you get stomach flu, ensure you seek emergency care right away.

Campylobacter: This bacterial infection produces severe GI upset that lingers for weeks. Its culprits are undercooked meat or eggs, poultry, raw milk or water sources, and contaminated vegetables. It’s also spread through cross-contamination. The condition causes bloody diarrhea that needs medical attention immediately from an ER near you.

Shigella: These bacteria are mostly found in shellfish, uncooked vegetables, and mayonnaise or cream-based salads such as potatoes. It causes mucus or blood in your diarrhea, which is why the infection is often called bacillary dysentery.

How to Prevent Food Poisoning

You should handle your food safely and ensure you don’t take any unsafe food.

How Is Food Poisoning Treated?

In many cases, food poisoning can be managed at home by staying hydrated. But unfortunately, one loses a lot of fluids through vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

Hydration formulas like Pedialyte are helpful when one is sick. It helps fluids stay in the body longer. However, if you and your child have trouble keeping liquids down, you may need to visit the nearest emergency room to get IV fluids.

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