If you experience a sudden bout of vomiting, food poisoning is probably one of the things that run through your mind. While it is usually quite difficult to tell if your vomiting is related to some food-borne illness, you can retrace your steps and what you have eaten recently, and possibly shed some light on your illness.
Here are 4 signs that you might have food poisoning:
1. You recently ate a mayonnaise-based salad that was a little warm.
Potato salads, pasta salads, and other barbecue favourites are notorious for causing food poisoning. Other perishable foods, like chicken, devilled eggs, or cheese can also cause problems. Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, a gastroenterologist and clinical associate professor of medicine at New York University’s Langone Medical Centre states, “You need to watch the temperature of your foods and keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.” Most experts recommend only leaving perishable foods out for two hours (less if the temperature is high). And, when in doubt, throw it out! Don’t take chances with food-borne illnesses.
2. Raw and cooked chicken were placed on the same plate or tray.
Putting cooked chicken back onto the same plate it was on when it was raw can be a recipe for disaster. This is one of the most common causes of food-borne illness, because it can be an easy way to contract E.coli. Ganjhu states, “You also want to use separate cutting boards; don’t cross contaminate raw meats with vegetables.” Storing foods properly is also critical. The juices from raw meats can drip onto other foods, causing dangerous bacteria growth. Always store raw meat in a plastic bag, and preferably in a separate part of the refrigerator, to avoid possible cross contamination.
3. Did someone say, “Don’t drink the water?”
Drinking contaminated water is another common cause of food borne illness. Certain countries that people might already be aware of do not have consistently safe drinking water; Mexico may come to mind. But, there are plenty of other places where drinking the water can lead to trouble. Ganjhu explains that it might not just be the water, and adds, “Avoid salads and other raw fruits and vegetables in countries where the water’s sketchy, unless they’re cleaned with filtered water.” Stocking up on probiotics can also help protect the gut, as well as speed up recovery if you do happen to get sick.
4. You didn’t warm the leftovers up completely.
Even foods that are cooked through and properly stored in the refrigerator can contract bacteria, as quickly as overnight. Ganjhu states, “The food could have contracted bacteria in the fridge overnight.” In order to ensure that you have killed any bacteria, be sure to heat any leftovers thoroughly. Make sure you also follow directions carefully when cooking frozen foods in a microwave oven. When standing time is included, it is usually to ensure that the food absorbs all of the heat from the cooking process adequately.
Food poisoning is common, and can be dangerous. Make sure that you are taking the proper precautions to avoid this problem and stay healthy.