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Food That Makes People Sick Will Often Show Some Signs

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Food that makes people sick can be dangerous and cause food poisoning. However, it can be challenging to identify spoiled food because it may look, smell, and taste normal. That's why it's essential to know the characteristics of food that makes people sick, so you can take steps to avoid getting sick in the first place.

Food poisoning is a general term used to describe illnesses caused by eating contaminated food. The contamination can come from bacteria, viruses, or parasites, and it can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, food poisoning can be severe and require medical attention. However, there are steps you can take to avoid getting sick from contaminated food.

What Is Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning is caused by consuming contaminated food that has toxins or poisons produced by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. The most common symptoms of food poisoning are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Some types of bacteria can contaminate seafood eaten raw or undercooked. Other types can cause illness when people eat raw vegetables contaminated with animal droppings.

Characteristics of Food That Makes People Sick

Spoiled food can look, smell, and taste normal, making it challenging to identify when it has gone bad. Therefore, it's important to know the characteristics of food that makes people sick, so you can take steps to avoid getting sick in the first place.

Not Properly Cooked

Food that is not cooked properly can make you sick. Always ensure that your food is cooked to the proper temperature to avoid food poisoning. For example, the center of your meat should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and all your eggs should be fully cooked. Eating undercooked food can lead to food poisoning, so it's essential to cook your food thoroughly.

Contaminated

Contaminated food can be caused by poor hygiene practices such as improper hand washing or not refrigerating foods at the right temperature. Ensure that you properly wash your hands and equipment, and refrigerate foods at the correct temperature to avoid contamination.

Loses Taste

Food that has gone bad can taste different than when it was fresh. If you notice a change in taste, it may be a sign that the food has gone bad, especially if it was stored incorrectly or left out for too long. Throw out any food that has gone bad, as it could make you sick.

Smelly

If your food smells bad, it's a sign that it may be spoiled. Smelly food is usually a sign of bacterial growth, indicating that the bacteria are multiplying and producing gas in the process. This gas causes the smell. If you put your nose to it and it smells weird, don't eat it!

Change in Color

If you notice a change in the color of your food, it could be a sign that mold is growing on the inside. Mold can cause food poisoning, so it's essential to throw out any food with mold growing on it.

Ways to Avoid Eating Food That Makes People Sick

There are several steps you can take to avoid eating food that makes people sick. These steps include:

  • Washing your hands properly before handling food to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Keeping your kitchen clean and sanitizing surfaces that come into contact with raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Using separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables to avoid spreading bacteria.
  • Refrigerating perishable foods at all times and discarding any leftovers within two hours if not eaten.
  • Checking expiration dates before buying any food and discarding any expired items.
  • Cooking your food to the right temperature to avoid food poisoning.

By following these steps, you can reduce your risk of getting sick from contaminated food.

Conclusion on Food That Makes People Sick Will Often Show Some Signs

Food poisoning is a scary experience, but you can take steps to avoid it. Knowing the characteristics of food that makes people sick can help you identify when food has gone bad and take appropriate action to prevent illness. It's essential to practice proper hygiene and food handling to avoid contamination and cooking food to the right temperature to prevent food poisoning.

Remember, if your food smells, tastes, or looks off, it's better to be safe than sorry and throw it out. Your health is worth it!

William H. McDaniel, MD

Dr. Robert H. Shmerling is the former clinical chief of the division of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and is a current member of the corresponding faculty in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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