Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I have published little Kindle books

I have 10 books in my "Allergy and You" series.  Frances Taylor and I are busy writing more Kindle books on other health subjects.

Food Poisoning

The CDC estimates that 1 in 6 Americans are affected by food borne illness each year.  Food poisoning is defined as an illness caused by the consumption of food or water contaminated with bacteria and/or their toxins, or with parasites, viruses, or chemicals.  The symptoms vary in severity and include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache, with serious cases resulting in life threatening symptoms.  Most of the illnesses are mild, improving without specific treatment, but severe cases may require hospitalization.  A food borne illness must meet the following criteria:  Similar illness, often gastrointestinal, in a minimum of two people and evidence of food as the source.

The most common pathogens causing food borne illness include Norovirus, and the bacteria Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter species, and Staphylococcus aureus.  There are others, most of which are responsible for the hospitalizations.   Fish are the most common cause, followed by spices that include fresh or dried peppers.  Green leafy vegetables, poultry, and dairy items may be causes, as can contamination by food handlers, and improper pasteurization. Travel, and globalization of food production, manufacturing, and marketing increase the risk of food borne illness.  The best way to prevent food poisoning is to practice strict personal hygiene, cook all foods adequately, avoid cross-contamination of raw and cooked foods, and to keep all foods at appropriate temperatures whether hot or cold.