Food poisoning

Food poisoning

Food poisoning is widespread and in some cases can lead to serious injury or even death. Fortunately, there are various steps you can take to prevent food poisoning at home or when eating out. In this article, we'll share those tips, as well as ways you can recover from food poisoning if you do get it.

Your unique diet

Different diets work best for different people, depending on their unique circumstances, lifestyle and health concerns. Some people choose to eat as vegans or vegetarians, while others choose to include meat and animal products. The purpose of this article is to help you protect and support yourself and your health during your unique food experience, regardless of what diet you follow.

Consequences of food poisoning

Food poisoning is a serious threat, and unfortunately, it is very easy to suffer from it. During the Christmas holidays alone, thousands of people experience food poisoning from undercooked food. When someone gets food poisoning, there can be different strains of Escherichia coli in their gut wreaking havoc. This bacteria can travel through the intestines, penetrate the lining of the colon or other organ, and wreak havoc on the gallbladder and/or appendix. Ulcers and/or damaged lining of the intestinal tract and colon are seen in some people. In some cases, people are forced to undergo surgery to remove the gallbladder or appendectomy.

If a person ends up in the emergency room with food poisoning, there is little the doctor can do except monitor the patient and give them fluids so they don't die of dehydration. Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and/or pain may last for several days.

Cooking food at home

Generally, people prepare food at home more than they eat out. Taking these preventative measures can ensure greater health and safety for you and your loved ones:

  • Be careful when removing raw meat from its packaging. Grocery store packaging is often covered in dozens of varieties of bacteria, including strep, salmonella, and more. This means that when you pick up or open the package, harmful bacteria can easily get onto your hands. It is extremely important to wash your hands immediately after opening packages of meat.
  • Make sure your hands are clean when handling the knife after handling raw animal foods and their packaging, otherwise the handle of the knife may become contaminated with dangerous bacteria.
  • Consider donning nitrile gloves before removing the meat from its package. Once the meat is out and ready to cook, you can remove the gloves and make sure your hands are clean.
  • Never rinse any raw meat in the sink before cooking, as this can cause dangerous bacteria to settle in the sink. Then, if you accidentally drop other foods into the sink while cooking the meat, they can easily pick up the dangerous bacteria.
  • After transferring the raw fish or meat to the pan or cooking vessel, put the empty plate in the dishwasher or wash it thoroughly. Never put cooked meat or fish back into a dish that has had raw protein in it - this is very dangerous. Use a new, clean plate for the cooked products.
  • Be careful how you use marinades and sauces for meat. If you slather a raw piece of meat with sauce, bacteria from the meat can collect in the hairs. This can lead to contamination if this brush is reused or if the brush is placed back into the sauce.
  • Be careful with your utensils. For example, if you use a fork to transfer raw meat to the grill, be sure to remove the fork and use another clean utensil when removing the meat from the grill.
  • Be careful with cutting boards, which get dirty easily. After cutting raw meat, it is extremely important to immediately and thoroughly wash the cutting board. If you want to be even more cautious, have a new, clean cutting board ready for any other prep you may need to do. Make sure the cutting board used for cutting raw meat is placed in a different place or on another counter so you don't confuse the two boards.
  • Clean the kitchen surfaces well! If juices from raw meat get on the counter or cutting board and you place a clean plate on that surface, the bottom of the plate can get dirty, as well as your hands when you pick up the plate.

It's not about perfectionism in the kitchen, it's about doing the best you can to protect yourself and your family.

Dining in restaurants

Restaurant kitchens are usually very busy. The tension is incredibly high and there are a lot of moving parts.

In restaurant kitchens, raw poultry, meats and fish are often washed in the same sinks as salads and other vegetables. This regularly leads to cross-contamination. Countertops and surfaces in kitchens are often not cleaned thoroughly, which also leads to frequent cross-contamination.

Also, chefs often put on a pair of gloves after cutting themselves and take them off a few days later - but those old cuts can still bleed.

Tips for eating out

Here are a few things you can do to avoid food poisoning when eating out:

  • If you're a vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based person, the safest strategy is to try to avoid restaurants that serve animal protein or animal products whenever possible. Cross-contamination problems arise easily when raw meat or its juices accidentally come into contact with plant foods, such as lettuce. If you come across a place that serves animal products when you're out with family and friends, just follow the tips below to stay safe.
  • Choose cooked meals that are served hot instead of raw salads or raw meals.
  • If you decide to order a raw dish, ask for fresh lemon, raw onion and garlic to add to your dish. You can also ask the waiter if the kitchen has whole, uncut avocados. If so, order one or more to cut up at your table and put on your plate for a filling and safer raw option.
  • If your dish arrives at the table cold, politely ask if it can be brought back and reheated properly. In addition to contamination issues, a cook suffering from Epstein-Barr or another virus may have sweat dripped onto your food or accidentally cut themselves and blood on your food. Reheating the entire plate can protect you from contracting a harmful virus or bacteria.
  • Always be polite when asking about food changes or extra additions to your meal. Over the years I have helped many clients who have worked in the restaurant business. I've heard horror stories about what can happen to meals when customers are rude or annoy the waiter or chef.
  • Ask the waiter not to add sauce to your dish after it has been heated and ready to serve. Chefs often use squeeze bottles to dispense sauces. But bacteria such as salmonella and Escherichia coli lurk in these bottles, as they are often found near raw meat or handled by contaminated hands.
  • Never order your meat "alangle". Even if you've been doing this for dozens of years without consequence, that doesn't mean you won't get terrible food poisoning the next time you order a half-raw cut of meat. Whether you're ordering a prime steak or just a burger, order the meat medium or well done.

When you walk into restaurants with more awareness, you can enjoy yourself while protecting your health as best as possible.

Foods to arm yourself with

Many foods have amazing healing properties. These foods in particular can help you avoid food poisoning:

Oregano capsules: Take an oregano capsule before a meal. Just one capsule can help prevent food poisoning. If you take a capsule before eating out, the capsule will be ready to disperse around the food in your stomach when you start eating and digesting. Take oregano as a powerful protective barrier against salmonella and Escherichia coli.

Garlic: Add garlic to both cooked and raw dishes when you are at a restaurant, it can be a great protective measure. Raw garlic is a powerful weapon that can spread throughout the stomach and kill bacteria.

Thyme: If you're at a restaurant, ask if the kitchen has fresh thyme that the chef can sprinkle over your dish.

Peppermint: Peppermint tea has powerful antibacterial properties. Many restaurants have mint tea, but you can also bring tea bags from home. Sip this drink before and during meals.

Ginger: It can kill bacteria in the stomach. Drinking ginger tea before and after meals is a strong protective measure.

Lemon: A squeeze of lemon on your dish can provide great protection. If you order a raw meal, even at a vegan or plant-based restaurant, squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice over the meal. Lemon juice can act as an amazing antiseptic. You can even drink some lemon water with your meal.

High-quality salt: Try adding a pinch of high-quality sea salt to your dish, as salt can help kill bacteria.

Sometimes you have to be flexible when it comes to choosing where to eat. Fortunately, the food list above can be a powerful weapon in any restaurant you choose. Don't feel embarrassed to slip a lemon in your bag or a tea bag in your pocket before heading to the restaurant. Arming yourself with these secret weapons can keep you from getting sick.

Avoiding raw meat and fish

Some doctors claim that animal protein and animal products can kill you because they can clog arteries, raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart attack. But that's not all. Raw fish and animal proteins such as chicken, turkey and pork can be dangerous. If you consume these types of foods raw, you can get seriously hurt. If you want to take care of your health, eliminate beef tartare, raw fish or any kind of uncooked animal protein from your diet. Raw fish, while popular, is a major way to get dangerous bacteria.

Free-range vs. farm-raised animals

If you include meat and other animal products in your diet, choosing high-quality options can better support your health and safety.

Free-range beef and chicken are less likely to contain dangerous strains of salmonella, Escherichia coli and other harmful microorganisms and bacteria than meat from factory farms. Sourcing meat from free-range animals on small farms can be a great step toward greater safety, but most small farms still have to send their meat to a factory for processing. Some factories process all kinds of animal products, which means cross-contamination can occur.

Salmonella and other harmful bacteria can also be found on the outside of most farm-raised eggs. In contrast, free-range eggs rarely have salmonella and other dangerous bacteria on their shells. However, if you suffer from viral problems, neurological problems or any autoimmune disease, it is best to avoid eggs.

Recovery from food poisoning

If you take precautions but still end up with food poisoning, know that there are a few things you can do to support your body during treatment. It is essential to stay hydrated during the illness.

Mix coconut water (fresh or pasteurized) with plain mineral or spring water and drink it frequently between bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. This drink is also useful if you only experience intestinal pain.

Make lemon water and ginger water often.

If you have severe food poisoning, it's important to go to hospital to be monitored and put on an IV line.

If you have suffered from food poisoning in the past, you may want to apply this information to kill any old bacteria that may still be in your body.

How to move forward

Should you stop eating your favorite raw salad at your local vegan restaurant? No. Should you stop eating animal products if you feel healthy and happy? No. This article is not intended to alarm you, discourage you from eating, or in any way make you stop living life to the fullest. Instead, this information is meant to give you the confidence to go into any new situation with the knowledge you need to stay healthy.

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