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Food poisoning: The causes, symptoms and how to prevent them

Healthy Eating

Did you know 80% of food poisoning cases come from contaminated poultry? Here are the facts and how to avoid it.

Several people suffer cases of food poisoning every year, around 280,000 cases are caused by a bacteria called campylobacter, and salmonella.

It usually takes 1-3 days for food poisoning to develop, and symptoms include feeling sick, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

The most common causes are undercooked meat, unrefrigerated or out-of-date ingredients, and sick or dirty people touching the food

The riskiest foods include poultry and veg

A staggering 80% of infections come from contaminated poultry (244,000 cases each year), with the rest from untreated milk, water and rather surprisingly, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds (48,000 cases each year).

See your doctor if:

Your symptoms are severe, even after a few days You have a temperature of 38°C (100.4°F) or over You're severely dehydrated (look for sunken eyes and dark urine) There has been an outbreak of similar cases You have a baby with food poisoning.

What brings about food poisoning?

Undercooking, especially with meat Letting ingredients that should be refrigerated sit around outside it Letting cooked food stand for a long time Allowing someone who’s ill or hasn’t washed their hands to handle food Out of date ingredients

Symptoms to look and recovery tips:

Nausea (feeling sick) Vomiting Diarrhoea Stomach cramps

To treat poisoning, you're advised to drink mostly water in sips, but include fruit juice and soup. Avoid sugary drinks like cola, which can make some symptoms worse.

Make a claim

If you've suffered food poisoning from a restaurant, café, sandwich shop or other outlet, you must talk to a qualified lawyer as soon as you can. You may well be entitled to compensation.


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