Beware of causes of food poisoning

Food poisoning is characterised by stomach pain and diarrhoea (Internet Photo)

BY ELIZABETH AMONGIN

Angel          Nakajubi    (not real name)    was       enjoying her lunch    recently when suddenly  she        developed a running stomach.

This prompted her to run to her doctor who after examining the symptoms told her that the problem was food poisoning.

That   aside, in  December  after       eating a mouth     watering dish that was served at the staff university  party, over a dozen people developed stomachache    and   running    stomachs    before       they   were diagnosed with food poisoning, a common occurrence.

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What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning is not necessarily pouring poison in food. It is a common illness caused by consuming contaminated food or drinks, that have bacteria.

Food can get contaminated in several ways. Christine Namatovu, a clinician at the Allan Galphin Health Centre, explained that  food poisoning can occur when we fail to handle food carefully. Namatovu  said that chopping meat on a  dirty board can easily spread germs that contaminate food.

“On the other hand, when one consumes half -cooked poultry products or dairy foods that contain bacteria, food poisoning can also occur,” she said.

Ways of preventing food poisoning

One has to avoid eating cold food.  Food eaten at room temperature is dangerous because at that temperature, bacteria breed very first. All food has to be boiled, not only warmed. For         one to   kill the bacteria,       the        food has to be eaten hot or else it will be   contaminated   and  cause  food poisoning.

Washing hands     during       food   preparation  is important        in  avoiding      food poisoning. For ease, one can take warm water to avoid the discomfort. you can also, make Oral Rehydration Salts at home.

How to prepare ORS locally

Mix an oral rehydration solution using the following:

  • Six (6) level teaspoons of sugar
  • Half (1/2) level teaspoon of salt
  • One litre of  cool clean drinking or boiled water   

It is, however, important that one avoids self medication.   It   is   advisable     for   one      to take  warm   water  or local ORS and  report to the nearest health centre.

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