Last updated:10-20-2008
Bookmark and Share

Definition and causes

When the word food poisoning, most think of either salmonella infections (these are detailed in the article Salmonella infections) or the unpleasant reaction that we are experiencing short after the intake of food containing toxins (poisons) from eitherStaphylococcibacteria or from bacteriaClostridium botulinum.

Food poisoning covers many states, and the term is somewhat misleading, since it is not the food itself, you get poisoned, but the microorganisms or toxins from the food contains. Both viruses, bacteria and parasites may infect through food or water (or food washed in contaminated water). The most important of these are detailed in the article Gastrointestinal infection.

This article deals with the "classic food poisoning" that occurs after ingestion of so-calledpre-toxins(poisonous as the bacteria form while they are growing in the food) formed by certain types of staphylococci. Staphylococcal toxins are heat stable and can withstand relatively high temperatures. They can also be seen, smell or taste.

Botulismorpølseforgiftningcaused by the bacteriumClostridium botulinum. This bacterium also provide pre-toxins and can thrive by kølekabstemperatur. Take the toxins can cause paralysis. These are not permanent, but can be fatal if they affect breathing, muscle. Poisoning with toxins from these bacteria is extremely rare, and will not be discussed further in this article.

Symptoms of food poisoning

Classic symptoms of food poisoning occur as mentioned after taking the heat-stable toxins produced by stafylokker:

  • Nausea and vomiting (often violent).

  • Diarrhea

The symptoms come quickly, ie. 1-6 hours after ingestion of toxins, and hardly longer than two days. There are rare fever associated ingestion of staphylococcal toxins.

High fever, prolonged symptoms, said dehydration and blood in the stool can be a symptom of other (more serious) gastrointestinal infections.

Precautions and diagnosis

There are many things you can do to avoid food poisoning and other food-transmitted gastrointestinal infections:

  • Good hygiene in the kitchen (clean knives and other kitchen utensils thoroughly and not use the same cutting boards for meat and vegetables).

  • Thorough handwashing (before contact with various foods and ALWAYS after toilet visits).

  • Avoid eating when you are sick or have infected wounds on hands and fingers.

  • Be sure to thoroughly heated, especially meat and eggs.

  • Avoid consumption of raw eggs and seafood and is not heat-treated milk.

  • Ensure quick cooling of foods to be stored, and avoid the stored at room temperature.

  • Do not heat the leftovers in several stages.

  • Be sure to have a sufficiently low temperature in your fridge (below five degrees).

  • Always check the expiration date on foods.

As explained above, the heat-stable toxins from staphylococcal neither smell, see or Taste, and therefore it may be difficult to protect oneself 100%.

It is usually not necessary to seek medical advice in relation to food poisoning, and if you do, your doctor will often make the diagnosis solely on sick history and symptoms. In most cases, your doctor will not give any treatment, however, given antibiotics if they suspect an infection that requires treatment with this.

You must always consult a doctor if:

  • The symptoms persist for longer.

  • There is simultaneously a high fever.

  • There is blood in the stools.

  • There are signs of serious dehydration (dry mucous membranes, dark-colored urine and sparse said drowsiness).

Treatment of food poisoning

Food poisoning after ingestion of staphylococcal toxins usually require no treatment. However, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and take sugar and salt, then vomiting and diarrhea can easily lead to dehydration.

Select and complications

The characteristic mode with staphylococci of food poisoning toxin is rapid onset of symptoms (within 1-6 hours) in the form of often violent vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms goods from hours to days, and is most often by itself without treatment. However, efforts must be aware of dehydration.

Related articles:

Amøbedysenteri (Amoebiasis)
Food poisoning
Gastrointestinal infection (gastroenteritis)
Salmonella infections (Salmonella-gastroenteritis)
Typhus (Febris Typhoidea)



Top 5


Information on these pages should not replace professional doctors.
© Copyright 2010 Health & Disease - All rights reserved
Search health and
You are here: