After you eat, you may feel abdominal cramps, a fever, headache, and just feeling lousy over the next few days. That could be a sign you have food poisoning, also known as salmonella.
No, it is not named for the fish. Salmonella, a group of bacteria, is the most common cause of food borne illness, and was named for a doctor named Salmon who discovered it more than 100 years ago. The illness that people get from salmonella infection is called salmonellosis.
Salmonella comes from food contaminated with bacteria, which can happen during food processing or food handling. It only takes a tiny amount of bacteria to cause food-borne illness.
Salmonella can occur in raw, tainted or live poultry, eggs, beef, fish and unwashed fruits and vegetables. People can get salmonella when they are handling food and don’t wash their hands, especially after being in contact with animals, such as chicks or rodents.
It seems like it happens too often. Just yesterday, 92 people from 29 states have been sickened in a salmonella outbreak linked to raw chicken, reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At least 21 were so sick they had to be hospitalized. While not specifying the source of the contaminated chicken, the CDC says the “ill people report eating different types and brands of chicken products purchased from many different locations.” The outbreak of what was labeled as Salmonella infantis can be present in live chickens, and many types of raw chicken products, “indicating it might be widespread in the chicken industry,” the CDC says. Federal officials have shared the information with chicken industry representatives and they are working to reduce Salmonella contamination. The particular salmonella strain may be resistant to to general antibiotics, officials said.
Impacts Millions of People
About one of six people in the U.S. will get some type of food poisoning this year, officials say. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths related to salmonella each year. Food is the major source for most of those illnesses.
Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are the most common signs of salmonella, but fever and chills often accompany the illness. It can take a week for symptoms of the illness to begin.
One of the most important things you can do if you get salmonella is drink plenty of liquids to replace fluids lost through vomiting or diarrhea.
How salmonella occurs
The most common causes of salmonella usually come from animals. Touching certain birds and lizards can spread the disease. Reptiles, baby chicks and small rodents are among the animals that may carry it.
Foods contaminated with bacteria can occur during food processing or food handling. Salmonella can be lurking in cooked meats, such as chicken or beef. It is also found in seafood, dairy products and lettuce, in packaged and prepared foods. Outbreaks of contamination have ranged the gamut, including raw turkey products, shell eggs, past salads, cereal, pre-cut melon, dried coconut, chicken salad, and raw sprouts.
In some rare instances, water can be contaminated with salmonella.
Kratom, an herbal supplement that the Food and Drug Administration has said is not safe, also has had instances of containing salmonella, the agency said.
When someone is sick
People who get salmonella may develop symptoms of illness anywhere from 12 to 72 hours or nearly a week after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days and most people recover without treatment. However, in some people, diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.
An infection could be more serious in infants or people with chronic conditions, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. If left untreated, salmonella poisoning can appear in joints and the urinary tract in a condition known as Reiters Syndrome. In some cases that could become permanent.
Use Best Practices in Handling Food
Taking care in handling food is one of the most important preventative practices in preventing salmonella. For instance, take care when making or handling raw eggs or foods such as cookie dough or burgers. You should also make sure raw meat is cooked to the proper internal temperature, or properly refrigerated. You should always wash the food after purchasing.
What You Can Do When Eating
- Stay hydrated. Liquid intake is important for your body to fight off food poisoning effects. You can have sports drinks that include electrolytes to prevent dehydration, clear sodas, chicken or broth, and decaffeinated tea.
- Eat foods gentle on your stomach. Such foods would include bananas, potatoes, cereals, honey, gelatin, and oatmeal. – Joe Cantlupe, HealthDataBuzz
Healthline. What to Eat After Food Poisoning. Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/what-to-eat-after-food-poisoning
Teatulia. What is Ginger? Retrieved from: https://www.teatulia.com/tea-varieties/what-is-ginger-tea.htm
Michael and Lesley Tierra’s East West School of Planetary Herbology. Salmonella in Species and the Herbal Treatment of Food Poisoning. Retrieved from: https://planetherbs.com/blogs/michaels-blogs/salmonella-in-spices-and-the-herbal-treatment-of-food-poisoning/
WebMD. Andrographis. Retrieved from:https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-973/andrographis
National Institutes of Health. NIH Scientists describe how salmonella bacteria spread in humans. Retrieved from:
Food and Drug Administration Administration. 2018. FDA warns companies selling illegal, unapproved kratom products marketed for opioid cessation, pain treatment and other medical use. https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm608447.htm
Based on my article from https://www.hcpnow.com/feeling-lousy-could-be-food-poisoning/