Note on Food Poisoning

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Food poisoning
Food poisoning (www.amillionlives.net)

Food poisoning can be defined as an illness caused by eating contaminated food, or by eating food that contains harmful bacteria. The common symptoms of food poisoning are diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and sometimes headaches and fever symptoms may become evident after six hours and up to three days after eating such infected food. The main reasons of food poisoning by the people are:

  • Ignorance about the rules of hygiene.
  • Carelessness, thoughtlessness or negligence while preparing the food.
  • Poor standard of equipment’s and facilities to upkeep hygienic standard.

Causes of Food Poisoning

  1. Chemical Food Poisoning

    It is related to certain harmful chemicals, metals, plants, etc. through which differenttypesat food
     Chemical Food Poisoning
    Chemical Food Poisoning (www.mysafetysign.com)
    poisoning can occur. The follow are the some chemical food poisoning:
  • Lead poisoning can occur from using water that has been in contact with lead pipes.
  • Arsenic is used to spray on vegetables, fruits, and occasionally poison the food.
  • The harmful amounts of copper cause food poisoning, Therefore, storage in copper pots is very dangerous.
  • Certain poisonous plants such as fungi, rhubarb leaves and the part of potatoes, which are exposed to the sun above the surface to the soil many cause food poisoning.
  • Chipped enamel from galvanized containers also causes food poisoning.

  1. Bacterial Food Poisoning

    Bacterial food poisoning
    Bacterial food poisoning (www.edgarsnyder.com)

Harmful germs may enter the food from human, animal or other sources. The bacteria themselves or the toxins (poison) produced in the food by certain bacteria may cause the foods to be harmful. There are four main types of bacteria associated with usual types of food poisoning.

  • The salmonella group: They cause food poisoning because of large numbers of bacteria m the food. They are usually found in eggs. Symptoms may appear between 12-36 hours after eating these bacteria.

Symptoms: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.

  • Staphylococcus aureus: They cause food poisoning due to poison production m the food. They are found on human skin, nasal area, throat, groin, and armpits.

Symptoms: Vomiting and diarrhea may appear within 1-6 hours and may disappear within 24 hours.

  • Clostridium perfringens: They cause food poisoning due to large numbers of bacteria producing toxins in the intestine.

Symptoms: Stomach pain, headache, dizziness, and diarrhea may appear within 12 -36 hours, death may occur within 24 hours to 8 days if an anti-toxin is not administered in time.

  • Botulism: A toxin-producing bacteria found especially in spoiled tinned food. This as dangerous form of food poisoning as it affects the nervous system

Symptoms: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, and dizziness.

Some other bacteria are vibrio, E-coli, bacillus cereus, Shigella, Botulism,etc. They cause food poisoning because of large numbers of bacteria producing toxins in the body of human and symptoms may appear 2 to 24 hours. They can be found on human skin, nasal area, throat, groin, stomach, etc.

Spoilage and Temperature Control

 Temperature Control
Temperature Control (Source: regentrack.co.ke)

Keep foods either hot above 65°C or cold below 5°C. The bacteria that cause food poisoning grow best when food in warm. Be especially careful with raw poultry, seafood and foods with a base of eggs, such as mayonnaise or egg salad, or bread, like stuffing or puddings. Make sure the temperature in your refrigerator is 5°C degrees or under. Get a good thermometer for the fridge, keep it in there where you can see it. And check it at regular interval and record the readings.

Chemicals

There are often a lot of chemicals in the kitchen. Drain cleaner, bleaches, and strong acids can be dangerous.

Never mix different types of these products, explosions or dangerous gasses may result. Make sure these are always used strictly according to the directions on the package, and make sure that the containers are properly sealed when not in use.

Carbon monoxide results from incomplete burning of fuel. Monoxide poisoning can result from improperly adjusted or poorly vented gas appliances. They must be checked regularly by an authorized inspector/ engineer.

Cleaning fluids, gasoline, kerosene and such are often flammable, can easily cause fires and explosions, and should never be stored in a kitchen.

Pesticides such as pest killers, rat or cockroach poison and other rodent bait should be considered dangerous. If you get them on your hands, wash them off. When you use them, make sure there is no uncovered food they can get into. Store carefully, and preferably not in the kitchen.

First Aid

There can always be a mistake, and someone in the kitchen, preferably you, should be trained in at least basic first aid.

If you cut yourself to wash the wound under cold water if the wound is shallow and bleeding stops dry the skin around the wound with paper, a clean cloth or cotton wool and cover with a waterproof colored plaster.

If the wound is deep:

  • Apply pressure to it to stem the bleeding
  • Raise it above the heart
  • Seek medical attention

Burns

If you burn or scald yourself apply cold water or ice: place hand under gently running cold water or wrap ice in a plastic bag and place gently on the affected area. It is important to take the heat from the area and although this may hurt prolonged application of cold water or ice can substantially reduce blistering.

Kitchen safety, while cooking

a) Make sure you have a working smoke detector in your kitchen.
Test is every month and replaces it every 10 years.

b) When cooking oil at high temps, give it your full attention.
Grease, oils, and fats are the ignition points for most stove top fires. The hotter they get the more dangerous they becomes.

c) Keep a tested, UL-rated fire extinguisher close to the stove.
Read the instructions and learn how to use it. Practice to make sure you can use it in a crunch. Test it every couple months to make sure it's still functional. (For a small pan fire, turn off the heat and cover the pan if possible. You can also smother a small fire with baking soda. Don't try to pick up the pan and never pour water into it)

d) Don't store food or tools where it is necessary to reach across the range to reach them.
The exposure to heat and humidity is bad for food and presents a burn hazard to the cook. Steam is especially dangerous because when it's honest it's invisible.

e) Make sure the stove top is always clear and clear.
Also, make sure oven vents are clear. Never leave wooden or plastic tools, dish towels, or other items on the stove top. If you turn on the wrong burner, you could easily melt something or start of the fire.

f) NEVER put a glass casserole or lid
On the stove or over a burner. If it gets hot and explodes, it will send shards of glass in all directions.

General Safety Rules

If you spill something on the floor, clean It up and dry. Use a warning Sign whilst area is wet.

Often when you are working in the kitchen you are moving fast. Don't leave boxes, stools, bags of groceries or anything else out on the floor where they can trip up a fast moving cook. Safety around Kitchen Electricity Keep your eyes on the electricity in your kitchen, it can electrocute you, or cause fires if it gets loose.

Don't use appliances near the sink or other water. If one falls in, it can electrocute anyone nearby. If you must have a wall socket near the sink, make sure it has a "Ground fault interrupter" type socket assembly.

Glass Utensils on Kitchen Burners, Explosion Danger, And Hot Glass Utensils Can Break. Wet clothes Oven Cloves and Hot Pads can cause burns as the heat turns the dampness to Steam.

References:

Oli Gopal Singh et.al., Hotel Management Principles and Practices-XI, Buddha Prakashan, Kathmandu.

Bhandari, Saroj Sing et.al., Principles of Hotel Management-XI, Asmita Books Publication, Kathmandu.

  1. Food poisoning can be defined as an illness caused by eating food that is contaminated.Its symptoms are many.
  2. Causes of food poisoning can be due to chemical, bacteria or human.
  3. Keep foods either hot above 65°C or cold below 5°C. The bacteria that cause food poisoning grow best when food in warm.
  4. Cleaning fluids, gasoline, kerosene and such are often flammable, can easily cause fires and explosions.
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