One of our co-workers fell sick to what's commonly referred to as "food poisoning", so we couldn't think of a better opportunity for an in-depth discussion on the wonderful world of foodborne illnesses (which is what the medical community calls it, since we're not actually being poisoned by food, but rather, we're being infected by something living on the food.) Caused by the usual suspects of creepy-crawly microbes (bacteria, viruses, molds, toxins, parasites and allergens), some of the more well-known culprits are E. Coli and Salmonella. They can also be caused by lesser-known, long-winded named bugs like clostridium perfingens and campylobacter. You seek more fun facts about food poisoning? OK, how about: Different bugs have different incubation periods: most people will start getting sick about 6-72 hours after being exposed, but some can incubate in your body for up to 70 days before you show any symptoms. The most common cause is mishandled or under-cooked food. If you have a foodborne illness, the best thing you can do is drink plenty of fluids, (avoiding caffeinated beverages) and get plenty of rest. Usually they go away on their own and don't have any lasting effects. If you're curious, you can look up your symptoms and how long you've had them on this handy site [FoodSafety.org http://www.foodsafety.gov/poisoning/index.html], and you might be able to identify which specific pathogen you're being infected by! Since one-in-six Americans will suffer from some kind of foodborne illness this year, chances are you've had it at some point in your life. When was the last time? What was it like? Where do you think you got it from? Do you know of any home remedies that lessen the effects? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below ... and don't spare us any details! We want to know everything.
Food Poisoning (FoodSafety.gov)
"Food poisoning (also known as foodborne illness or foodborne disease) is any illness that results from eating contaminated food."
How to Treat Food Poisoning(HowStuffWorks.com)
"Food poisoning occurs when you eat food contaminated with bacteria, parasites, viruses or other toxins."
Bad Bug Book: Handbook of Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins (FDA.gov)
"Food safety is a complex issue that has an impact on all segments of society, from the general public to government, industry, and academia."
"Diarrhea is a common and uncomfortable digestive disorder characterized by loose, watery stools that cause frequent need to defecate (usually at least three times a day)."
Food Poisoning (MayoClinic.org)
"Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is illness caused by eating contaminated food."