by Sana Sandström
You cooked. You ate. You celebrated the holiday. Now you're feeling queasy.
You didn't drink too much. You're not pregnant or flip-side, since you're reading an article on Pregnancy.org, you might have a baby on the way.
You don't have flu symptoms, so what is the problem? It could very well be food poisoning.
While food poisoning isn't a medical term, we usually mean that bacteria or virus in the food made us sick.
Some types of bacteria stay in the intestine. Some produce a toxin that's absorbed into the blood stream and can affect the rest of your body. After several hours or even days, you begin experiencing symptoms, depending on the type of bacteria.
Not all food poisoning results in diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps. Other types of symptoms can include weakness, confusion or tingling on your face, hands and feet.
• Usually the first symptom is diarrhea. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.
• Your overall health and your age determine how soon symptoms appear, how severe they are and how long they last.
• Babies and young children and the elderly are most affected by food poisoning. Even types that typically are mild can be life-threatening.
• Pregnant women and people with impaired immune systems may also face more severe symptoms.
• In most cases, food poisoning is mild and you recover in a few days to a week.
Call your doctor if a diarrhea is accompanied by:
• Blurred or double vision
• Trouble swallowing or breathing
• Muscle weakness
Unsafe handling practices or contamination from animals or other foods cause most outbreaks of food poisoning. Over the years, it's been noticed that some foods tend to cause more outbreaks than others. These made the "dirtiest foods" top ten.
Undercooked meat can contain bacteria like E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter. Are you having a rare steak for dinner? You might want to order it well-done. Cook your meats to a safe internal temperature:
-- 145° for steak, pork or roast
-- 160° for ground meats
-- 165° for all poultry, included ground varieties
Oysters filter feed. If the water they filter is contaminated, so are the oysters. To avoid food poisoning, cook them well. They can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea when undercooked or served raw.
This fish can be contaminated by scombrotoxin, which causes flushing, headaches, and cramps. If it's stored above 60 degrees after being caught, the fish can release the toxin. Scombroid toxins can't be destroy by proper cooking. If you suspect your fish might be contaminated, throw it away.
Fruits and vegetables can be contaminated with bacteria. To make sure you don't become a victim, follow these three steps:
1. Wash your hand well before and after preparing fresh produce.
2. Wash fruits and vegetables under running water before eating or cutting.
3. Keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate from other foods.
They're your favorite go-to salad greens but they also caused hundreds of outbreaks since 1990. Greens can be contaminated by manure, dirty water rinses or unwashed hands. To avoid getting sick, wash produce before using. Don't chop on a cutting board used for meat.
Sprouts are the poster child for healthy foods but they can be vulnerable to bacterial contamination. It could happen to the seeds in the field or later in the water or warm growing conditions. The CDC recommends that the elderly, young children and people with weakened immune systems avoid eating raw sprouts.