Food poisoning

The reasons

The easiest to poison

How to identify hazardous products

Symptoms of food poisoning


Food poisoning treatment


Food poisoning is a collective term that implies a clinic of acute indigestion (nausea,vomiting, diarrhea ), sometimes in combination with other symptoms resulting from the use of substandard food or liquids.

Food poisoning classification

Food poisoning can be divided into:

  • infectious (caused by microbes, viruses or protozoa, or their metabolic products), these types of poisoning are more properly called foodborne toxicoinfections (PTI).
  • non-infectious or toxic poisoning (due to ingestion of chemical toxins, heavy metals, poisons, eating herbs, plants, or inedible fungi).

The reasons

Food toxic poisoning occurs as a result of the consumption of food or water, which contains chemical, vegetable or animal poisons:

  • inedible mushrooms, or mushrooms collected along the routes, near chemical plants and accumulated in themselves harmful compounds,
  • poisonous plants (nightshade, wolfberry, henbane),
  • chemicals (toxins, heavy metal salts, preservatives, dyes).

Foodborne diseases result from eating spoiled food or food contaminated with harmful microbes.

These include:

  • salmonellosis, listeriosis, botulism, proteus, clostridiosis,
  • conditionally pathogenic flora (staphylococcus, E. coli),
  • viruses (rotavirus, enterovirus).

The easiest to poison

The most dangerous products in terms of the development of food toxic poisoning are:

  • milk products,
  • eggs, especially raw,
  • meat dishes,
  • fish dishes, especially raw fish,
  • pastry with protein cream,
  • home canned food and pickles in violation of the technology of conservation,
  • perishable foods that require cold storage,
  • products with packaging integrity and shelf life,
  • catering products in violation of sanitary rules in their preparation.

How to identify hazardous products

Foods that have been stored for some time after cooking are potentially dangerous, although freshly prepared foods can also cause poisoning.

There are several signs:

  • the product has expired or will expire soon,
  • its packaging is broken or has defects (dents, abrasions, color fuzziness),
  • the product has an uncharacteristic smell
  • the taste and color of the product is changed,
  • consistency is heterogeneous, layered,
  • when stirring or heating gas bubbles appear,
  • there is sediment at the bottom, if the product is liquid, the transparency is disturbed.

Characteristic features of food poisoning

The peculiarity of food toxicoinfection and toxic poisoning is a short period of incubation, about 2-6 hours and rapidly developing manifestations.

In addition, these diseases are usually dangerous to others, occur in the form of outbreaks in the family or team, all or almost all used these products.

Even if the product is normal in appearance and taste, poisoning can occur, as it could be seeded with dangerous microbes as a result of preparation from a sick person, but the microbes have not yet had time to multiply and spoil the dish.

Symptoms of food poisoning

The first symptoms of poisoning can occur in the period from 1-2 to 6-8 hours, gradually in the next 1-2 days they progress, and without assistance can significantly harm health.

The characteristics of clinical manifestations depend on many conditions – the type of microbe or toxin, the amount of food taken, the state of the body, and other conditions. However, a number of typical signs of poisoning stand out:

  • temperature, from low in 37-37.5 to 39-40C,
  • loss of appetite, malaise,
  • upset stool and abdominal pain cramping
  • bloating
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • cold sweat, lowering pressure,
  • signs of dehydration due to loss of fluid from the stool and vomit (dry mucous membranes, decreased urine volume and its concentration, weight loss).

In severe cases or when exposed to neurotoxic poisons occur:

  • visual impairment, double vision,
  • muscle tone disorders
  • loss of consciousness
  • strong salivation (hypersalivation),
  • disorders of the brain (hallucinations, delusions, coma) or the peripheral nervous system (paresis and paralysis).

Most dangerous salmonella, listeriosis and botulism, especially for pregnant, lactating and young children, as well as the elderly – they can be fatal.

First signs of salmonellosis

Salmonellosis develops on average in 12-24 hours.

Its characteristic features are:

  • temperature increase to 38-39C,
  • headache,
  • cramping abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

The chair is liquid, watery, frothy, fetid, greenish in color from 5 to 10 times a day. On the 2-3rd day of the disease in some patients an admixture of mucus is found in the stool.

First signs of listeriosis

The incubation period of listeriosis is 2-4 weeks.

Symptoms depend on the form of the disease, below are the most characteristic:

  • prolonged temperature rise
  • redness and sore throat,
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • puffiness and redness of the eyelids, purulent discharge (when infection gets through the conjunctiva of the eye),
  • rash on body with typhoid form.

The first signs of botulism

Botulism develops over a period of several hours to 5 days. Symptom development is very fast!

It is necessary to immediately seek help for the following symptoms:

  • no fever or slight fever,
  • nausea, vomiting, loose stools without impurities – these symptoms last for about a day,
  • a characteristic early sign of botulism – visual impairment – fog, “flies”, double vision,
  • swallowing disorders – feeling of a lump in the throat, pain when swallowing
  • at the beginning of the second day, neurological symptoms appear: headaches, dizziness, weakness,
  • One of the most dangerous signs of botulism is respiratory failure: feeling of lack of air, shallow breathing. It is respiratory failure that is the cause of death in botulism.


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The basis for the diagnosis of food poisoning is a typical clinical picture, the defeat of several people at once and an indication of the use of the same products.

To identify a specific pathogen, crops are administered:

  • blood
  • feces
  • vomit,
  • food that ate infected.

If a viral nature of the infection is suspected, a rapid analysis is performed to detect the virus in the blood.

If toxic damage is suspected, a blood test for toxins and an examination of samples of products that have been consumed are performed.

Food poisoning treatment

If you suspect food poisoning, you need to call an ambulance, and before her arrival provide first aid.

First aid for food poisoning

These actions apply to both adults and children:

  • washing the stomach with soda solutions until the water is clear, without food impurities,
  • then reception of enterosorbents is necessary

* At the first symptoms of poisoning enteral detoxification with Enterosgel enterosorbent is necessarily used as first aid. After ingestion, Enterosgel moves along the gastrointestinal tract and collects toxins and harmful bacteria as a porous sponge. Unlike other sorbents that need to be carefully diluted with water, Enterosgel is completely ready for use and is a gentle gel-like paste that does not injure the mucous, but envelops and contributes to its restoration. This is important because the poisoning is often accompanied by an exacerbation of gastritis, because of which the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines becomes inflamed.

  • if vomiting occurs on the reception of a large volume of liquid, the sorbents are dissolved in water and take a sip every 5-10 minutes,
  • take a cool liquid to prevent dehydration (screaming, rehydron, if not, then sweet tea with lemon alternating it with saline),
  • create peace for the body, temporarily refuse to eat.

How to prepare an analogue of rehydron

It is necessary to dilute 9g of salt (a tablespoon with a slide) in 1l of water.

Water should be either bottled or boiled – this is especially important in food poisoning. It is not recommended to take water passed through a household filter without boiling.

It is strictly forbidden to take without strong prescription in case of severe food poisoning:

  • antibiotics
  • sulfa drugs (streptocid, biseptol, sulfasalazine),
  • Linex, biological products,
  • antiemetic and antidiarrheal drugs,
  • traditional medicine in the form of decoctions and tinctures of various plants (oak bark, pomegranate peels),
  • alcohol and alcohol solutions.

At the hospital, further measures are being taken to eliminate toxins from the body and fight infection, dehydration and damage to the nervous system. With the timely start of treatment, the symptoms of poisoning disappear without a trace in 3-7 days.


To prevent or minimize the risk of food poisoning, you must follow basic rules:

  • prepare food only in the kitchen, regularly clean the cooking and eating areas,
  • strictly observe the rules of cooking food, cooking technology,
  • use only benign products, check expiration dates,
  • If possible, do not store perishable foodstuffs, or store them in a refrigerator for no more than 6-12 hours,
  • Be wary of foods with raw ingredients, especially in catering,
  • always visually and on smell to check the quality of products,
  • do not eat home-made canned food purchased in markets
  • wash hands and dishes thoroughly
  • fight with flies and other insects in the house, and especially in the kitchen,
  • do not eat unfamiliar foods or dishes, especially in public places,
  • Always boil or filter the water.

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