Food poisoning (Part-2)

life-style Jun 1, 2021
Bacterial colonies grown on an agar plate in combination with iron powder. Product of a school work.
Photo by Adrian Lange / Unsplash

Some common Bacteria responsible for food poisoning are

Bacillus cereus—found in cooked rice that has been kept warm or inadequately reheated.
Symptoms are severe vomiting within 1 hour of eating rice or diarrhoea later. Recovery is rapid.

Clostridium botulinum (botulism) --- causes a very rare and deadly form of food poisoning and found in inadequately sterilized tinned or bottled vegetables, meat or fish.
Symptoms appear within 18-36 hours and it causes slurred speech, difficulty in swallowing, blurred vision, paralysis and respiratory failure.

Clostridium perfringes – is associated with warm meat, gravy and stuffing; typically a casserole or saucepan of mince
Symptoms are abdominal cramps, diarrhoea and headache. Occasionally, vomiting and fever. Normally a full recovery is made after 24 hours.

Escherichia coli – causes a severe form of poisoning and found in poorly cooked beef burgers and other minced products associated with poor kitchen hygiene in fast food outlets.
Symptoms are vomiting and severe diarrhoea which often contains blood. Patients often require hospitalization.

Salmonella – found in raw or lightly cooked eggs, cooked foods or salads left unrefrigerated for several hours.
Symptoms are nausea, abdominal pain, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Staphylococcus aureus – many people carry this bacteria and can easily transfer them to foods. Common culprits are ham, poultry and cream or custard – filled baked foods.
Symptoms are abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Occasionally, chill, weakness and dizziness.

Prevention is better than cure

So, minimising the risk is better to avoid food poisoning and it can be done by

A friendly reminder to keep our hands clean (IG: @clay.banks)
Photo by Clay Banks / Unsplash
  • Washing hands before handling any food and cover up any cuts or sores with a plaster.
  • Stuffing should be removed from poultry before refrigerating.
  • A separate chopping board should be kept for raw meat, poultry and fish.
  • Meat should be well cooked.
  • Cooked and raw food are stored separately.
  • Cooked food should not be reheated more than once.
  • Cooked dishes should not be kept warm over a very low heat because bacteria multiply vigorously in warm condition.
  • Pets should be kept out of the kitchen and away from the dining table when people are eating.


A. Sandhya

M.Sc Zoology

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