If everyone in your family suddenly feels ill after eating lunch or dinner, it could be due to food poisoning. Food poisoning occurs after you consume improperly washed, prepared, handled, or cooked food and liquids. The following information can help your family learn more about food poisoning and how to treat it the right way.
What Types of Food Can Cause Food Poisoning?
Any food and drink has the potential to make adults and children ill, especially if it's unclean or contaminated with germs, parasites, or toxins. For instance, germs like the salmonella bacteria can lurk on the surfaces of raw fruit, meat, poultry, and vegetables. Undercooked and unpasteurized foods, such as eggs, honey, and raw milk, can also harbor bacteria and other organisms. If you consume undercooked, unpasteurized, or unclean items regularly, you and your family members may become susceptible to food poisoning.
Food poisoning can produce a number of symptoms in people, including vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Symptoms can occur within one or two hours of ingesting contaminated items, or it can take up to six hours or longer before you experience any problems. The symptoms can linger for one to seven days, depending on the source behind them.
If you or your family's symptoms don't improve within seven days or less, see a family medical doctor for care.
How Do You Fight Food Poisoning and Its Symptoms?
A family practitioner will need to know exactly what your family consumed and when. The information can help a doctor determine the:
- type of bacteria or organism behind your illness
- extent of your illness
- most effective ways to treat your family
Each member of your family may also need to provide blood and stool samples to a physician. Some pathogens can incubate, or hide, inside your blood and digestive system for a set period of time. The data can help a family practice choose the correct treatments for you and your loved ones.
The treatments for food poisoning can vary, depending on the source behind it. For instance, if Listeria caused your family's illnesses, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics to each family member. Infections caused by E. coli may require good hydration and plenty of rest to get through. If you or your loved ones experience problems completing a doctor's orders, contact a medical office immediately.
If you suspect food poisoning in your family, contact a family medical care clinic in your area.