How to avoid food poisoning during summer trips

Tehran Times – The hot days of summer are associated with eating and drinking whether you are on a trip or want to spend long days outside the house. This issue increases the risk of food poisoning during the season. The hot temperature rises the speed of bacteria growth in your body, which makes you feel sick.

Food poisoning during summer is caused by viruses, bacterial and parasitic contaminations, nutritionist Majid Haji Faraji told ISNA in an interview published on Monday.

Food poisoning is mostly caused by contaminated drinks as well as dirty fruits, vegetables, and raw meat, he said.

Some 90 percent of poisoning cases during summer are caused by environmental factors and eating contaminated food, he noted.

“Undercooked chicken causes gastrointestinal salmonella infection and people may be infected with Botulism caused by the poorly preserved or canned foods, which may even lead to death,” he warned.

“Vomiting and diarrhea are the two main symptoms of food poisoning. Abdominal pain, weakness, and headache are other symptoms of the disease, which can be cured within 48 hours,” he explained.

Drink water and electrolyte-containing beverages

Before going to medical centers, patients are better to use water and electrolyte-containing beverages. The most basic rehydration drink that contains electrolytes is one made with water, salt and sugar, he said.

“People should avoid drinking water from rivers and springs, which may cause severe poisoning and death. Meanwhile, they should wash hands before eating. Fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly washed and disinfected,” he added.

He also noted that the poor preservation of processed foods may cause contamination.

“Do not re-heat food several times, he said, adding that acid reflux can be increased during trips, which is caused by eating different foods and lack of physical activity. So, do not forget to consume vegetable and fruits.”

Using water and cool drinks as well as avoiding hot environments can prevent people from heat-related diseases as well, he recommended.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, causes more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhea to cancers.

An estimated 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420,000 die every year, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy life years.

Children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125,000 deaths every year.

Diarrhoeal diseases are the most common illnesses resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, causing 550 million people to fall ill and 230,000 deaths every year.

SB/MG