Do You Have a Stomach Bug, or Was It That Food You Ate?

It’s that time of year when illness spreads like jam on toast. Have you been hit by a stomach virus? Or maybe it was food poisoning? It’s good to know which it is, so you know whether or not you are contagious or if other people shouldn’t eat the mystery meat in your fridge.

Stomach Virus Food Poisoning

CausePassed by a virus that attacks the intestines; you catch it by coming in contact with someone who is infected, or by touching something he or she has touched. This virus can also be passed on through contaminated food or water.You get it by eating contaminated food that contains infectious organisms, bacteria (like E. coli), viruses, or parasites.SymptomsWatery diarrheaNausea and/or vomitingAbdominal crampsFeverMuscle achesHeadache

Symptoms appear one to two days after exposure to the virus and usually last for one to two days but can last for up to 10 days.Abdominal pain, which can be quite severeLoss of appetiteWatery diarrheaNausea and/or vomitingFeverFatigue

Symptoms can show up within hours of eating contaminated food, but exposure to certain contaminants may not cause symptoms until a few weeks later. Sickness lasts from one to 10 days.ComplicationsDehydration (caused by excessive vomiting and diarrhea)Dehydration (caused by excessive vomiting and diarrhea)Exposure to certain types of bacteria may prove fatal to unborn babiesCertain strains of E. coli can cause kidney failureMethod of diagnosisA doctor will ask about your symptoms or take a stool sample. If they see bacteria, they know it’s not a bug.A doctor will ask you questions about food you’ve eaten and how long you’ve felt symptoms and will perform tests such as checking your blood and stool. She may also check for parasites.TreatmentRestReplace lost fluidsGradually begin to eat bland foods such as toast, rice, and potatoes.Avoid dairy products, caffeine, spicy foods, and fatty foods.Replace lost fluidsIf symptoms are severe, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.PreventionAvoid coming in contact with an infected person or anything he or she has touched. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, especially before you eat and after you use machines at the gym. Don’t share personal items like cups, utensils, or towels.Keep your hands, cooking surfaces, and utensils clean. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Throw out food that has been sitting out or foods you’re not sure about. Cook foods safely and thoroughly. For more tips, check out this post on preventing food poisoning.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Do You Have a Stomach Bug, or Was It That Food You Ate?

It’s that time of year when illness spreads like jam on toast. Have you been hit by a stomach virus? Or maybe it was food poisoning? It’s good to know which it is| so you know whether or not you are contagious or if other people shouldn’t eat the mystery meat in your fridge.

Stomach Virus Food Poisoning

CausePassed by a virus that attacks the intestines; you catch it by coming in contact with someone who is infected| or by touching something he or she has touched. This virus can also be passed on through contaminated food or water.You get it by eating contaminated food that contains infectious organisms| bacteria (like E. coli)| viruses| or parasites.SymptomsWatery diarrheaNausea and/or vomitingAbdominal crampsFeverMuscle achesHeadache

Symptoms appear one to two days after exposure to the virus and usually last for one to two days but can last for up to 10 days.Abdominal pain| which can be quite severeLoss of appetiteWatery diarrheaNausea and/or vomitingFeverFatigue

Symptoms can show up within hours of eating contaminated food| but exposure to certain contaminants may not cause symptoms until a few weeks later. Sickness lasts from one to 10 days.ComplicationsDehydration (caused by excessive vomiting and diarrhea)Dehydration (caused by excessive vomiting and diarrhea)Exposure to certain types of bacteria may prove fatal to unborn babiesCertain strains of E. coli can cause kidney failureMethod of diagnosisA doctor will ask about your symptoms or take a stool sample. If they see bacteria| they know it’s not a bug.A doctor will ask you questions about food you’ve eaten and how long you’ve felt symptoms and will perform tests such as checking your blood and stool. She may also check for parasites.TreatmentRestReplace lost fluidsGradually begin to eat bland foods such as toast| rice| and potatoes.Avoid dairy products| caffeine| spicy foods| and fatty foods.Replace lost fluidsIf symptoms are severe| your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.PreventionAvoid coming in contact with an infected person or anything he or she has touched. Wash your hands thoroughly and often| especially before you eat and after you use machines at the gym. Don’t share personal items like cups| utensils| or towels.Keep your hands| cooking surfaces| and utensils clean. Keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Throw out food that has been sitting out or foods you’re not sure about. Cook foods safely and thoroughly. For more tips| check out this post on preventing food poisoning.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Hummus Recall: What You Need to Know About Listeria

Sabra Dipping Co. recently announced a recall 30,000 cases of its classic hummus products because of possible listeria contamination. While no illnesses have been reported, the company voluntarily pulled the cases after a routine test on a sample came back positive. This isn’t the first time stores have recalled possibly tainted foods; last year, prepackaged caramel apple products tested positive for listeria, and several types of prepackaged fruit labeled Sweet 2 Eat, such as peaches and nectarines, were recalled. In 2012, listeria-tainted honeydew and cantaloupe melons were pulled off shelves, and tainted cantaloupes in 2011 resulted in 147 illnesses and 30 deaths. Coming down with a bout of listeriosis can be dangerous, so get the facts on what to look out for and what to do if you think you’re infected.

What Is Listeriosis?

According to the CDC, listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food that’s contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems are most at risk, but, rarely, it can affect others.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms usually begin with diarrhea or other tummy troubles, and patients soon develop a fever and body aches. Those at high risk may also develop a headache, stiff neck, mental confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions, which can be signs of fatal meningitis or encephalitis. Pregnant woman typically experience mild symptoms, but an infection can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or a life-threatening infection to the little one after birth. Illness can show up anywhere from a few days to more than two months after eating contaminated food.

How Does It Get Into Food?

The bacterium survives in soil and water, which explains how it is sometimes found in produce. Another issue is that the listeria bacterium can live in a food processing factory for years, which then contaminates raw meats, fruits, and veggies or foods that have already been processed or cooked.

How Do I Prevent Contracting Listeriosis?

The best way to reduce your risk of getting sick is to cook raw food thoroughly, since listeria is killed when proper cooking procedures are followed. Rinse raw fruits and veggies well under running tap water and dry them with a paper towel. Also keep raw meats separate from veggies, stick to pasteurized dairy products, disinfect utensils and surfaces that have come in contact with uncooked foods, and make sure your fridge is set to 40¡ãF or lower and the freezer 0¡ãF or lower.

How Is Listeriosis Treated?

If you suspect you’ve been exposed to listeria and develop fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms, contact your doctor immediately to get started on a dose of antibiotics.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Hummus Recall: What You Need to Know About Listeria

Sabra Dipping Co. recently announced a recall 30|000 cases of its classic hummus products because of possible listeria contamination. While no illnesses have been reported| the company voluntarily pulled the cases after a routine test on a sample came back positive. This isn’t the first time stores have recalled possibly tainted foods; last year| prepackaged caramel apple products tested positive for listeria| and several types of prepackaged fruit labeled Sweet 2 Eat| such as peaches and nectarines| were recalled. In 2012| listeria-tainted honeydew and cantaloupe melons were pulled off shelves| and tainted cantaloupes in 2011 resulted in 147 illnesses and 30 deaths. Coming down with a bout of listeriosis can be dangerous| so get the facts on what to look out for and what to do if you think you’re infected.

What Is Listeriosis?

According to the CDC| listeriosis is a serious infection caused by eating food that’s contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Older adults| pregnant women| newborns| and adults with weakened immune systems are most at risk| but| rarely| it can affect others.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms usually begin with diarrhea or other tummy troubles| and patients soon develop a fever and body aches. Those at high risk may also develop a headache| stiff neck| mental confusion| loss of balance| and convulsions| which can be signs of fatal meningitis or encephalitis. Pregnant woman typically experience mild symptoms| but an infection can result in miscarriage| stillbirth| premature delivery| or a life-threatening infection to the little one after birth. Illness can show up anywhere from a few days to more than two months after eating contaminated food.

How Does It Get Into Food?

The bacterium survives in soil and water| which explains how it is sometimes found in produce. Another issue is that the listeria bacterium can live in a food processing factory for years| which then contaminates raw meats| fruits| and veggies or foods that have already been processed or cooked.

How Do I Prevent Contracting Listeriosis?

The best way to reduce your risk of getting sick is to cook raw food thoroughly| since listeria is killed when proper cooking procedures are followed. Rinse raw fruits and veggies well under running tap water and dry them with a paper towel. Also keep raw meats separate from veggies| stick to pasteurized dairy products| disinfect utensils and surfaces that have come in contact with uncooked foods| and make sure your fridge is set to 40¡ãF or lower and the freezer 0¡ãF or lower.

How Is Listeriosis Treated?

If you suspect you’ve been exposed to listeria and develop fever| chills| and other flu-like symptoms| contact your doctor immediately to get started on a dose of antibiotics.

Image Source: Shutterstock