Did You Know? Food Poisoning is a Common Summer Ailment. This happens because some people do not properly clean or take care of their food, allowing it to sit in the summer heat before they consume it. 

Summer may not be the first season you associate with feeling unwell. However, the warm months can lead to infections, viruses, and heat-influenced diseases. 

Why is Food Poisoning Common During the Summer?

Food poisoning is more common during the summer because the warm weather creates an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply rapidly in food.

Outdoor gatherings and picnics increase the risk of foodborne illnesses by providing opportunities for mishandling or undercooking food. It’s important to practice proper food safety measures, such as refrigerating perishable foods promptly, cooking food to the appropriate temperatures, and avoiding cross-contamination, especially during the summer months.

What Are The Symptoms of Food Poisoning?

Food contamination is a frequent, generally mild, but occasionally fatal sickness.

Common symptoms encompass:

  • Feeling sick
  • Throwing up
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Gas

These signs manifest abruptly (within 48 hours) following the ingestion of tainted food or beverage. Depending on the type of pollutant, symptoms such as fever and chills, bloody feces, dehydration, and damage to the nervous system may occur. These symptoms can impact an individual or a cluster of individuals who consumed the same food (referred to as an outbreak).

Severe food poisoning can lead to dehydration, severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, high fever, and bloody stool. In such cases, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. 

If you are experiencing severe food poisoning symptoms such as the following, visit your local ER or dial 911:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Diarrhea lasting more than 3 days
  • Severe dehydration
  • Vomiting so often you can’t keep anything down
  • Fever of 102°F or higher

Food Poisoning Treatment: 

Treating food poisoning typically involves focusing on relieving symptoms such as dehydration and nausea. Important to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and gradually reintroduce bland, easy-to-digest foods. In severe cases, medical attention may be necessary.

Food poisoning is one of those illnesses that needs to heal on its own. Your body is vacating a bacteria and it must go through the process in order for you the feel better. That doesn’t mean it is pleasant, or you won’t need medical care, but there is no specific cure.

Typically, you should see improvement within a few days. The aim is to enhance your wellbeing and ensure your body is adequately hydrated.

Maintaining proper hydration and understanding the right foods to consume can help keep you or your child at ease.

You might need to:

  • Handle the diarrhea
  • Regulate nausea and vomiting
  • Ensure sufficient rest

Sometimes complications can occur. So it is always important to be mindful of your symptoms and seek emergency care when needed.

What Does A Doctor Do For Food Poisoning?

Your healthcare professional will assess you for symptoms of food poisoning, such as abdominal discomfort and indications of dehydration or insufficient body fluids.

Examinations can be conducted on your feces or the food you’ve consumed to identify the specific microorganism responsible for your symptoms. Nonetheless, examinations might not consistently identify the reason for the diarrhea.

In severe instances, your medical professional might prescribe a sigmoidoscopy. The physician inserts a slender, hollow tube equipped with a light at its tip into the anus to investigate potential sources of bleeding or infection.

Practice Food Safety During the Summer Months:

During the summer months, it’s important to pay extra attention to food safety. This is because the warmer temperatures can lead to the rapid growth of bacteria. Here are some tips to ensure food safety during the summer:

1. When outdoors, use coolers with ice or freezer packs to keep perishable foods at a safe temperature (below 40°F or 4°C). Keep the cooler in the shade and avoid opening it frequently.

2. Wash hands with soap and water before preparing and handling food. Clean utensils, cutting boards, and countertops to prevent cross-contamination.

3. Make sure to cook foods, especially meats, to the recommended internal temperatures to kill any harmful bacteria.

4. Keep raw meats separate from ready-to-eat foods to prevent the spread of bacteria. Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meats.

5. Refrigerate or freeze perishable leftovers within two hours of serving. Dispose of any food left out at room temperature for more than two hours. One hour if the temperature is above 90°F or 32°C.