How to get rid of the crisis of food poisoning in this time of crisis

The BBC Sinhala Service had recently reported that Sri Lanka is facing an unprecedented economic crisis with fuel and energy shortages, high inflation and rising commodity prices. The report also states that a serious shortage of agricultural products due to the results of the failed organic farming process has led to the deepening of the crisis.

It is reported that 57 lakh people in Sri Lanka are currently in need of humanitarian assistance. Another 63 lakh people are facing food insecurity. It is also reported that 67 lakh people do not eat enough food.

A shortage of food

The price of food is increasing all over the world and due to this it is difficult for many people to get it. Sometimes there is a shortage of food. People living in many parts of the world have to adapt to these new conditions. Accordingly, sometimes they have to change the food they eat, sometimes they have to reduce the amount of meals they get, and they also have to eat food that is not properly prepared due to the lack of energy.

Due to the above reasons, many people are trying to collect goods as cheaply as possible during this crisis. Among these are the food items, and you can see how many people buy food regardless of their condition, safety, etc., only considering the fact that the price is reduced. Many others have also become accustomed to storing more food. Thus, some food items are not stored under safe conditions, and because of this, toxins can be mixed with them and toxins can be produced in them.

This situation has also worsened due to transportation problems and power cuts. Due to this, the damage caused to the food that should be stored in refrigerators is also great. Due to this, there is a risk of increasing the number of cases of food poisoning across the country. This is a problem that needs to be solved soon, and this article is dedicated to bringing you information on how food poisoning occurs and how to minimize such poisoning as much as possible.

How does food poisoning happen?

Simply put, food poisoning occurs when someone eats food that is infected with viruses or bacteria, or by eating food that is contaminated with parasitic animals, their dust, and other types of toxins and chemicals.

The illness caused by food poisoning ranges from a very minor condition to a serious condition that can lead to immediate death. Food poisoning causes mild or moderate physical discomfort, which may be immediate or gradual. Also, temporary dehydration of the body can also occur in case of food poisoning.

Minor cases of food poisoning may last for a few hours or two or three days. That is, the symptoms related to food poisoning decrease and disappear within a few hours or days, and long-term side effects do not remain in the body. However, in the case of ingestion of serious solid dust or toxic chemicals such as botulism, if prompt medical treatment is sought, it may even lead to the death of the patient. Because of this, everyone should be very careful about food shortages during this crisis.

Who are responsible for food poisoning?

Many types of bacteria can cause food poisoning. Bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus can get into food and drink through the saliva and feces of infected people. This is caused by not cleaning both hands and not wearing a mouth mask while preparing food. A person who eats or drinks food and drinks prepared in this way becomes infected with that bacteria. People get dysentery due to drinking water from water sources infected with E coli bacteria and eating food contaminated with them.

It can be transmitted by humans or animals. Eggs and meat contaminated with Salmonella bacteria also cause dangerous food poisoning. Salmonella infection is often curable with prompt treatment, but in some cases it can be so active that it can be fatal. Microbial growth related to food poisoning occurs very easily, especially in cooked fish, meat and dairy foods. There is a very high risk of this happening, especially when they are left at room temperature for an unnecessarily long time.

Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism, is active in anaerobic conditions. This bacteria is easily found in canned food and can be killed by proper cooking. Cases of botulism have also been reported in young children from infected honey, and in many cases it has become serious due to their weak immune systems.

Raw meaty foods, especially sea creatures with shells, also easily cause food poisoning. Food poisoning is caused by naturally occurring toxins in some mushrooms, berries and plants.

Sprouted potato tubers contain a chemical called 'solanin', which is also toxic to the human body. Expired and improperly stored food also easily grows mold, and food poisoning also occurs due to the dust released from them. Aflatoxin, especially in peanuts, easily enters the human body and causes poisoning. In addition to these, chemicals added to food artificially or accidentally

Hazardous materials may form hazardous solutions.

How to prevent food poisoning?

It is possible to prevent food poisoning to a large extent, and by following the following methods, very successful results can be obtained.

During the crisis, we cannot have much confidence in the cleanliness of the food, so if it is washable, it should be washed thoroughly with clean water. Hands and food preparation equipment should be washed thoroughly with soap. Meat should be removed from the freezer and left exposed for long periods at room temperature. For super-frozen meats, it is best to leave them in the normal freezer and turn them to thaw, and it is wise to remove them and cook them as soon as possible. Like raw meat and cooked meat, other uncooked foods should not be placed together with meat. Meat, fish and eggs should be cooked thoroughly before eating. Especially due to daily power outages, it is necessary to clean and cook the meat food in the refrigerators.

Foods should not be stored unnecessarily in humid places, and should be carefully checked before use. Be careful about the expiration date of packaged foods. If the package of canned food is swollen, it should not be used under any circumstances. Equipment used for meat preparation should not be used for other foods, and if done, they should be cleaned thoroughly. When using unpasteurized milk, they should be mixed well before use. Cleanliness is extremely important when canning food at home.

If symptoms persist

When symptoms such as dyspepsia, nausea and vomiting related to food poisoning occur, if they persist, it is imperative to seek proper medical treatment. Especially due to resorting to non-official and informal treatment methods at home, the condition of the disease can be serious. Under the current situation, there are many obstacles in going to see a doctor suddenly, but it is also wise to prepare some system so that you can go to see a doctor at any time.

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