Food poisoning is an illness that typically occurs as a result of the consumption of contaminated food. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites that are not removed during the production process of food or enter at a later point can enter the human body along with whatever is being consumed. Once inside, these infectious organisms can quickly begin to cause a variety of gastrointestinal problems.
Within one to two hours of consuming infected food or water, the symptoms of food poisoning will become evident. Depending on the specific pathogen, these symptoms can include vomiting and nausea, stomach pain and cramps, and diarrhea. Food poisoning can also result in a fever, headache, and muscle pain. Due to its quick onset and familiar symptoms, it is normally obvious when you have consumed contaminated food. However, in some cases where severe contamination is present, it may be necessary to perform lab testing. Usually symptoms last from a few hours to a few days.[symptom-checker]While it is a greater issue in less developed areas of the globe, contamination can still affect food even in first world nations. In most cases, improper storage, handling, and cooking is the main culprit behind infectious diseases being present in food. To prevent food poisoning, it is important to make sure that you are following proper cooking and handling procedures. Additionally, it is important to purchase foods such as vegetables, meat, and dairy from reputable sources that you can be certain have proper preparation protocols in place.
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