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How to prevent food poisoning
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The devastating story regarding the death of Della Callagher has been splashed across the news recently. It is a tragic story of a woman who has lost her life due to food poisoning. Mrs Callagher's alleged food poisoning was contracted from a local restaurant, and has resulted in people questioning the potential effects that it can cause.
Food poisoning is known to cause discomfort in its victims for 24 - 48 hours, however, as mentioned on the BBC news in a recent statement made by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), it is very rare for someone to die of it.
Common symptoms of food poisoning are:
- stomach cramps
- fever and chills
In all cases of food poisoning, it is contracted by micro-organisms entering the body, which can be contracted in one of two ways:
- on the food – this is where the person preparing the food may not have washed their hands before handling the food
- in the food – which is when the food hasn’t been cooked through properly and the micro-organisms aren’t killed off
Despite there being only two main ways to contract food poisoning, there are alarming amounts of places where germs can be lurking and picked up.
The Mail online highlight the main food poisoning bugs:
- campylobacter - this is the most common food poisoning bug in Britain and is nicknamed the 'barbecue bug’
- salmonella - found in raw eggs, meat and poultry
- e coli - found in raw meats and dairy products
- listeria - found in soft cheeses pates, and salads.
Food poisoning can be incredibly easy to contract amd in some slight cases difficult to get rid of. This is why maintaining your hygiene standards when cooking, and choosing your restaurant destinations carefully is crucial.
In Mrs Callagher's case, food poisoning was contracted through bacterium Clostridium perfringens which was found in samples given by those who fell ill. Devastatingly, food poisoning was the cause of her losing her life.
Controlling food poisoning
In normal cases of food poisoning the best way to manage it is to keep fluid levels to their maximum. Keeping hydrated, and managing the nausea will aid a speedy recovery. Due to this, in most cases of food poisoning, antibiotics will not be prescribed but you will be in charge of your own medication, this may be in the form of diarrhoea prevention tables which can slow down the illness.
Most healthy people can control a small amount of bacteria going into their system; however as stated by the Health magazine it can only become critical when the germs come into contact with any of the following people:
- the very young and elderly
- someone who has HIV
- someone undergoing cancer treatment
- pregnant women
- people who have diabetes
- those who recently had surgery.
This is due to their immune system being much lower therefore any germs caught are much more difficult to get rid of.
In Mrs Callagher's case, the reason for her death is still unknown, however The HPA are working with Havering Council to try to resolve the cause of the illness and to establish any links between this and the suspected venue.
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