Food Poisoning on the Rise

July 23, 2018

It’s preventable, if not entirely predictable: the nausea, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea of food poisoning. There are many types of stomach upset, from those caused by chronic illness (irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, etc.), to those caused by viruses (which happen mostly, but not always, in the winter), to true food poisoning—the mostly warm weather stomach upset caused by bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, which are indirectly caused by contaminated food.

Nationally, 1 in 6 Americans will get food poisoning each year.

Food poisoning outbreaks are more likely to occur in the summer, as warm weather makes it easier for bacteria to blossom and grow. As fruit and vegetables are harvested and pre-cut into platters, contamination from soil or factory conditions can quickly lead to widespread contamination. Even grains can sometimes be contaminated—as with the recent cereal recall, or the now standard recommendation to not eat raw flour.

But at home, food poisoning can occur at any time of the year. If raw meat (or another contaminated food) isn’t properly prepared, including cleaning everything it touched, a hard-prepared meal can quickly become a case of food poisoning.

Here’s an example: over half the US is currently experiencing a turkey-related Salmonella outbreak. While it seems to be the same strain of Salmonella being spread by raw turkey, no one farm or processor seems to be at the center of the outbreak, leading to turkey related illnesses all over. Basically, the culprit is unsafe food practices. Whether you’re preparing dog food, grilling, or getting a little mid-year Thanksgiving fix, it’s important to cook the turkey to a safe internal temperature, and to make sure that all surfaces (and a wide margin around them!) are cleaned after being exposed to raw turkey.

And while you can control things in your own home to a degree, you never know where food poisoning will come from. Make sure to keep your immune system strong, with regular good habits like sleeping enough, or with additional support from a supplement like colloidal silver.

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