28 Jan 2020

How to Spot the Symptoms of Food Poisoning and What to Do If You Get It

There are some cooking rules that we all know we should follow in order to avoid food poisoning. For example, most people know that they need to check that there are no pink patches in chicken, not to reheat rice, and to clean surfaces after cutting meat. Even taking these steps however, it is still possible to contract food poisoning.

So, what exactly is food poisoning? Put simply, it's a by-product of food items being contaminated with germs. Here are some of the ways food can become unsafe to eat:

  • Leaving food out of the freezer/refrigerator for too long
  • Handling food without washing your hands first
  • Failing to thoroughly cook food (or reheating when appropriate)
  • Not letting food defrost long enough before cooking
  • Not eating food by the recommended date
  • Handling food while suffering with a pre-existing illness

Being mindful of these causes, and only eating at trusted establishments with high food hygiene ratings, is the best way to avoid food poisoning.

No matter how careful you are personally though, there is still a chance that you can be poisoned unwittingly by others.

What are the symptoms of food poisoning?

Regardless of how you catch it, the symptoms of food poisoning are generally the same. Most will suffer from nausea and/or vomiting as part of the illness, often accompanied by cramps or a feeling of weight in the stomach. At the opposite end, diarrhoea is also a common complaint.

As well as these physical manifestations, symptoms of food poisoning can also include general aches, pains, weakness, and fatigue. A high temperature of 38 degrees or more is also common.

How is food poisoning treated?

In most cases, food poisoning will last for a period of between a week and ten days. And while the symptoms are far from pleasant, there isn't actually a lot that can be done to 'treat' food poisoning, or make it pass faster.

In fact, the NHS guidelines advise that food poisoning is best dealt with at home, and with plenty of rest and paracetamol. You should also drink plenty of fluids (such as water or squash), taking small sips if you feel overly nauseous, and eat when you can. There's no need to avoid any particular foods.

Mothers who are breastfeeding are advised to carry on without concern. If the baby is being sick however, switch to feeding little and often. Babies who are eating solid foods or taking formula should be given a small amount of water between feeding.

Following these steps will give you or a family member the best chance at recovering from food poisoning in the shortest time possible. In cases of food poisoning, time really is a great healer and so your best option is to rest and wait until it passes.

If you have suffered from food poisoning and you are looking to make a claim, talk to our team at Winn Solicitors; we can help. For more information on making a food poisoning claim click here.

If you or a loved one has contracted food poisoning from a restaurant or hotel, and would like to make a claim, contact Winns today.

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