Food Poisoning Myths Smashed
By Sara Butler
Food poisoning, or foodborne illness, occurs when you eat something that isn't properly cooked, stored, or has been contaminated by another food source. If you've ever experienced it, then it's not something you're likely to forget! If you haven't, then you've led a very lucky life! As with most other things, when it comes to food poisoning, knowledge is power. Here are a few of the myths that persist about food poisoning and the truth to help you avoid it.
Myth No. 1: Food Poisoning is Caused by the Last Thing You Ate
It may surprise you to discover that food poisoning can be caused by the last thing you ate -- but it can also be caused by what you ate several hours ago, a couple of days ago, or even a week or more ago. The incubation period can vary depending on what is in the food that's making you sick. If you suspect you have food poisoning, don't automatically assume it's what you ate last that's the culprit.
Myth No. 2: Little Kids and the Elderly are the Only Ones at Risk
While it may be true that some populations of people such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly are at high risk of getting food poisoning, anyone can get it. And anyone can get really ill as a result, even otherwise healthy people in the prime of life.
Myth No. 3: Every Case of Food Poisoning is the Same
The truth is that there are about 250 different types of food poisoning out there. Each one can differ by what food caused it, how long it takes to make you sick, how severe the illness is, and the symptoms experienced. Your unique immune system, as well as the amount of the food eaten, has an impact on the outcome too.
Myth No. 4: Safe Cooking Prevents All Food Poisoning
It is important to cook raw food to its recommended temperature to protect you and your family. But it's easy to accidentally cross-contaminate foods you eat by using the same dishes, utensils, and cutting boards when prepping your meal. It's also important to note that fresh fruits and vegetables that are eaten without being cooked first put you at risk for food poisoning.
Knowing the truth about food poisoning is how you avoid it!
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