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Food is everywhere. Walk around the city and you’ll be bombarded with restaurants, fast food joints, street hawkers and the like. Turn the TV on and you’ll see lots of advertisements promoting different food products. Even when you go online, you can’t escape food. You’ll soon find yourself staring at the photos of food your friends post or watching the many food videos making the rounds on social media. With so much food at your disposal, you should be wary of one thing aside from your bulging tummy – food poisoning.

There’s always the risk of having food poisoning especially if you don’t know how your meal was prepared. It may look great once our dish is served but do you know how clean the kitchen is or if the cook washed their hands thoroughly? These questions are hard to answer unless you ask to be in the kitchen while your order is being prepared.

If you’re the one preparing your food, you have a better chance of avoiding food poisoning. Otherwise, you have to keep your senses on sigh gear if you want to avoid eating bad food.


How to Avoid Food Poisoning?

If It Smells Bad, It Is Bad

Unless you’re eating sauerkraut or durian, you should avoid food that smells bad. Don’t second guess yourself if you notice even a hint of bad odor coming from your food. Dispose of it properly so your pets will not eat the spoiled food.


Wash Your Hands

In some cultures, eating with their hands is common. In others, people use their hands to eat popcorn, chips, burgers, hotdog sandwiches, and pizza. In general, though, we use forks, spoons, knives, and chopsticks.

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling raw food. Use a hands-free soap dispenser to avoid spreading bacteria. You should also wash your hand before eating even if you’re using utensils. Dry your hands well after washing.

Clean Your Counter Tops

Keep your counter tops clean to avoid contamination, especially after handling raw meat. Use hot soapy water to do the job.


Wash and Dry Your Dishcloth

People often forget that the dishcloth used for “cleaning” the counter or the table can be thriving with bacteria. Germs love damp dishcloths as much as Pennywise love the sewer but while the latter is just a figment of your imagination, germs in dishcloths are real and out to get you. Wash and dry them under the sun regularly.


Wash Fruits and Vegetables

Raw meats are not the only culprits when it comes to food poisoning. Most produce hide bacteria and other substances that can make you sick.

Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming them. Soak them in water with 1 to 2 teaspoons of salt or a water and vinegar solution.


Separate Raw Meat from Other Foods

Make sure your raw meat is packaged separately from the other food you buy, particularly those that are ready to eat or do not need to be cooked. When handling them, keep the raw meat away from the others, as well. It’s better to prepare the ready-to-eat ones before handling raw meat.


Assign Chopping Boards

Don’t use just one chopping board for all your food. Use a separate one for slicing meat and another one for produce. Wash and dry the boards regularly.


Cook Food Thoroughly

Uncooked food is a prime target of germs and bacteria. Make sure your food, especially the meat, is cooked through and through to avoid food poisoning.

Keep raw meat in the freezer if you’re not going to cook it after buying. And when it’s time to cook them, cook them well.


What to Do If You Have Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is characterized by abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, weakness, fatigue, and fever. Once you show any of these symptoms, go to your doctor immediately. Severe cases of food poisoning may have fatal results if not treated early.

In late 2018, a man died and over 70 fell ill after eating food from a popular Singaporean restaurant. In 2008, a student in Belgium ate leftover spaghetti using tomato sauce that was prepared five they earlier and stored at room temperature. He died of after the food poisoning organism B. cereus supposedly shut down his liver.


Drink Lots of Water

One of the main causes of death from food poisoning is severe dehydration. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water to compensate for the fluids and electrolytes you lose from vomiting and diarrhea.


Don’t Eat Yet

Let you stomach settle down first before eating anything. Make do with lots of fluid while you’re dealing with food poisoning. Once you recover enough to eat, avoid spicy and oily foods.


Other Things to Avoid

If you’re already suffering from food poisoning, you should avoid coffee, milk, bubbly drinks, and alcoholic beverages. Avoid taking over-the-counter medicines to treat the symptoms. You should let the diarrhea clean out the bad stuff in your body. The only thing you should watch out for is dehydration.


How to Know If You are Dehydrated

You’ll know you’re dehydrated if you feel extremely thirsty. Your mouth ill also fee dry. You may also experience light-headedness, weakness, dizziness and confusion. Blood pressure may fall while you’re heart may beat faster.

In most cases of dehydration, it is difficult to urinate. If you were able to pee, the urine is likely darker and more concentrated than normal.

Watch out for other symptoms including double or blurry vision, difficulty breathing and swallowing, extreme stomach pain and cramps, continuous vomiting, and blood in vomit or feces.

If you are aware of other ways to treat food poisoning, please share it with everybody else on the comment section below. You should also watch out for more survival tips on The Gentleman Pirate.

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