Food Poisoning vs. Botulism

June 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Posted in CLEANING, COOKING, Food and Drink, health, sick | 3 Comments
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While doing a search for food safety, I found a very interesting bit of information. Check this out….


Food Poisoning — This occurs when you ingest food or water that contains bacteria, parasites, viruses, or toxins made by these germs. Most cases of food poisoning are from common bacteria such as Staphylococcus, Salmonella, or E. coli. (It can affect just one person or a group of people who all ate the same contaminated food.) Symptoms from the most common types of food poisoning usually start within 2 – 6 hours of ingesting. Symptoms can include stomach cramps, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and serious dehydration.

Botulism — This is is an extremely dangerous form of food poisoning that is the result of ingesting food contaminated with C. botulinun, which is a nerve toxin (scared yet?). How can you tell if you’ve contracted botulism instead of ordinary food poisoning? Botulism causes an impairment of the muscular system. As a result, many people affected with botulism will have trouble speaking clearly, their breathing will become difficult and they may complain of having double vision or other visual problems.(GET TO THE ER!)

While eating meat is quite a bit more likely to cause food poisoning than eating vegetables, the actual muscle of an animal that is consumed is actually very safe as long as it doesn’t have the skin. That is the reason that you can feel safe eating rare steak, but would never eat rare chicken. It is the skin that is the breeding ground for most bacteria. Cutting through the skin during preparation spreads the dangerous bacteria.  The skin actually acts to protect meat from the bacteria that is crawling all over it, but once the meat is sliced, the bacteria races in to invade. (Which is why hand washing is so important. Beware that studies show that long fingernails carry and transmit lots of extra bacteria too, ladies.) After using a chopping board to cut meat, DO NOT use it again until it has been thoroughly cleaned.  NEVER, EVER allow your raw meat to touch  any other food, for that matter. (Beware of hand towels during prep too. Once you’ve used that towel during meat prep, throw it in the wash with some bleach to avoid cross-contamination.)


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