Thursday, June 17, 2004

Food Poisoning

When I was still practicing as a GP in the Philippines, I often had patients who manifested with severe nausea and vomiting, and usually they came to the clinic looking very weak due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. History usually revealed eating food bought from karinderya or a fast-food restaurant (I had it when I bought king congee at a fastfood whose name I have forgotten - tumatanda na ako!. It offers Chinese dishes like siopao and pancit. Maybe some of you remember?) Some patients with the same symptoms consulted at the same time (My patients then had history of eating halo-halo bought near the talipapa.)By the time they consulted, they had gotten rid of the toxin, and once hooked to IV Fluids, almost readily felt better. They thought the IVF was a medicine, but actually the rehydration and restoration of electrolytes made them feel better, plus, the nausea and vomiting had stopped, which they often thought was secondary to the IVF but actually because the illness had resolved spontaneously. Well, the IVF also encouraged the highly-irritated bowels to rest.)

I recalled those events because of this eDiet Health Tip from My Yahoo:

Food poisoning can be downright deadly. Before handling raw poultry, seafood, meat or eggs, always wash your hands in hot, soapy water. Check to see that your refrigerator's thermostat is set to 40 degrees or below. Do not thaw foods at room temperature, but rather defrost them in the refrigerator. Wash the cutting board with hot, soapy water when using it for a variety of foods.

And I add: Always reheat thoroughly leftover foods that were refrigerated prior to consumption, especially if they had been cooked or prepared more than 12 hours. For mayonnaise- or egg-containing food like salad or some frosting, consume as fast as you can and keep refrigerated. If they had been sitting at room temperature for more than 2 hours, throw them away unless you intend to reheat them (I especially like toasting bread with mayo-egg or mayo-cheese using the oven-toaster).

To give you more information on Food Poisoning, read this page from the Merck Manual website.

You may also look at the US FDA website on the said topic, particularly for those etiologic/causative agents not mentioned in the Merck Manual.

If you happen to have the symptoms, be prepared to recall where you last ate and what items you had. So if you happen to eat at restaurants often, keep the receipts within at least 2 weeka. You may have to use them.

 Posted by Hello


bayibhyap said...

You can say that again, Manang. I was hospitalised for 3 days last week because of a liver problem. Apparently my liver was producing really extraordinary levels of enzyme. For the past few months I felt tired and sleepy. I complained about my condition to my doctor but he did not pay serious heed to it. One day my urine went brown. I insisted on a blood test that would include all the markers. And you know the story...I was admitted into a hospital straight away.

Till today the specialist has been unable to identify the cause. But with rest, diet control (home cooking most of the time) and some medicine, I am recovering. I'm keeping outside food to a minimum. Dr Emer has been a great help with his advice and encouragement.

Never underestimate what outside food can do to you. This is the most likely cause of my condition.

Manang said...

Alangya! Pag lampas na ng 1 week, tapon mo na (unless frozen)! Every Saturday kaya, maglinis ka ng ref? Living alone ka siguro no? Adobo lang ata ang medyo tumatagal bago mapanis (I haven't discovered how long it takes for adobo to be spoiled. Madali kasi maubos eh...)

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