What Exactly Is Food Poisoning?

…and I ate this burrito and I think I got
food poisoning… That sucks, how long was the incubation period? *confused* what?? Hey everyone, Trace here for DNews! My buddy
Jared who runs the DNews social media pages got food poisoning today, so we thought we’d
pull back the curtain on foodborne illness. People CALL it food poisoning, but the medical
community call it foodborne illness, which makes sense. You’re not being poisoned by
food, but infected by something that’s living on the food. Commonly, food poisoning is caused
by bacteria, viruses, molds, toxins, parasites or allergens. They range from the fairly well known, E.
Coli and Salmonella to the far less known campylobacter, toxoplasma, listeria and clostridium
perfringens (clostridEum per-fringe-ens). According to the FDA, most foodborne illnesses
go away on their own and don’t have lasting effects — but there are those, like E. Coli
O157:H7 which can cause kidney failure and death if not treated properly. Not all e.coli
is bad, by the way. Some e.coli is part of your natural gut bacteria! A number of things can result in food being
“poisoned” or infected. Most often, according to the Mayo Clinic, food poisoning comes from
food that’s mishandled or not cooked properly. Maybe it’s left under the warmer too long,
not refrigerated properly, handled by a person who didn’t wash their hands, or touched a
surface that wasn’t recently cleaned. Every contaminant has an ideal condition, and they
vary from bacteria to virus. And though you might be thinking, YES! I was
at that place around the corner and TOTALLY got it from there, you might be wrong. Some
of these foodborne illnesses can strike days or weeks after exposure because it takes a
while for the organism to replicate in your body and strike — this is the incubation
period. The most common pathogens, C. Perfringens,
Salmonella and the Norovirus have short incubation periods ranging from 6-72 hours. All three
cause diarrhea, but while salmonella and norovirus ALSO cause vomiting, c. perfringens doesn’t!
E.coli and campylobacter incubate for several days before striking and both result in severe
diarrhea containing blood, and vomiting. Toxoplasma can incubate for weeks and produce no symptoms
at all, and listeria can live in your body from three to SEVENTY DAYS before showing
flu-like symptoms! You could eat something two weeks before Halloween and not feel it
til Christmas! Some cases of food poisoning or food borne
illness are even mistaken for the flu, because people can’t remember when they ate at that
dodgy deli. And again, most of the time, you’ll just get better on your own, thanks to the
immune system. But you won’t feel awesome. These diseases cause diarrhea because they’re
inhibiting your body from absorbing nutrients and water OR they’re causing MORE water to
be added into the bowel. This means your body has to pass all that stuff out of your digestive
system, and in a hurry. If you’re nerds, like us,
you can look up your symptoms on foodsafety.gov and know what you got, how long you’ve had
it, and what probably caused it! It’s, like, really nerdy. Also — drink lots of water,
but NOT caffeine or dairy because your stomach is already irritated, those will make it worse.
Make sure you consume some broth or electrolyte drink to keep some nutrients flowing too.
And, speaking of flow, DON’T try and stop the flow out yer butt with anti-diarrhea meds.
You’re body’s doing it on purpose, you’ll just get in the way, literally. If you see
blood, call a doctor. When was the last time you got food poisoning? Where’d you get it? Tell us down below in the comments and be
sure you subscribe for more DNews. And as long as you’re in the subscribing mood, check
out TestTube, a show that explains the facts behind world news, politics and events that
affect us all!

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