It’s important to remember that some of these bugs can also be transferred from person-to-person, with or without symptoms, via contaminated surfaces or eating contaminated food. The symptoms can be the same, even if food is not involved.
While we tend to always blame the last thing we ate when we get sick, it could sometimes be eating contaminated food from several days or weeks ago, or in the case of listeria, months.
What are the symptoms of food poisoning?
Food poisoning symptoms can vary depending on the source of the infection. However, you will usually experience some or all of the following symptoms:
Stomach pain or cramps
Lethargy (extreme tiredness)
Loss of appetite
Sweating, fever or chills
What can cause food poisoning?
Food can become contaminated when:
Food isn’t prepared safely, for example when hands aren’t washed
Food isn’t cooked thoroughly
Food is touched by someone who is ill
Raw meat and ready to eat food (such as salads) come into contact with each other
Food is stored at unsafe temperatures, which allows bacteria to grow
Cross contamination occurs. This occurs when bacteria is spread between food, surfaces, utensils and equipment
How to prevent or reduce your risk of food poisoning
Follow these simple food safety tips to minimise your risk of food poisoning:
Put any food that needs to be kept cold in the fridge straight away
Wash your hands in warm, soapy water and dry them thoroughly before food preparation, or before you starting eating
Keep your kitchen benches, equipment and tableware clean and dry
Separate raw and cooked food and use different cutting boards and knives for both
Cook foods to at least 60oC, hotter for specific foods
Reheat foods to at least 60oC and they're steaming hot