How Fruits And Vegetables Can Be Food Poisoning Culprits

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” goes a very popular saying. People are encouraged to eat fruits and vegetables because these are very rich sources of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber that aids in digestion. Not many are aware that fresh fruits and veggies can also cause food poisoning. What is widely known to a lot of individuals is that contaminated meat is the main culprit. Hence, it’s truly a must to ensure that all food items are clean before eating to avoid food poisoning. So, whether you just bought a basket of apples from your favorite local farmer or maybe a tub of fresh micro greens from a nearby supermarket, you should wash them properly. It is never a good idea to assume that fruits and vegetables that are being sold have already been washed prior to selling even if these already look crispy and ready-to-eat in their boxes or plastic containers.

What Causes Food Poisoning?

Some people think that only cooked food that was handled improperly or was allowed to go stale can cause food poisoning. The truth is that any type of food, whether this is something that can be eaten raw or cooked, can bring about food poisoning. If you get poisoned, you’ll feel discomfort at best. The worst possible scenario, however, is death. Yes, it is a life-threatening condition that requires medical treatment, particularly if children are involved.

When Do I See a Doctor?

Food poisoning presents with a few common symptoms, such as – nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, body weakness (also known as body malaise), and abdominal pain or cramps. Sometimes, a bloody stool may be observed, especially for those whose condition is caused by shigella. A person’s body can become dehydrated, and children, most especially babies, are very much at risk because they get dehydrated very quickly. Other signs include: convulsions, loss of balance, confusion, muscle cramps or stiffening. If you suspect that you or someone you know is suffering from food poisoning, bring him to a hospital as soon as possible in order for him to receive emergency treatment.

Can Vegetables and Fruits Cause Food Poisoning?

People need fruits and veggies in their diet. But if these aren’t prepared or washed properly, they can cause food poisoning. The CDC has even released a report on how common leafy greens, including spinach and lettuce, can be tainted. So, how do fruits and veggies become contaminated?

— Improper Food Handling

Like most prepared dishes and other fresh food items, contamination can occur during handling. This means that cooks, waiters, and other individuals who have handled the food could spread pathogenic microorganisms if they don’t take proper precautions to protect what they are serving. This means that anyone who touches or goes near any food item that’s to be served to guests must wash their hands properly. Sick personnel must not be allowed near food too as many types of bacteria and viruses can be transmitted through sneezing or coughing.

— Fertilizer and Pesticide Poisoning

A number of large agricultural companies regularly use fertilizer to make sure that their crops grow better. Pesticides are widely used as well in controlling insects and other pests that would otherwise consume produce and decrease yield. But these substances are dangerous to people and even animals. Food poisoning can occur through physical contact with such matters, as well as through inhalation or ingestion. Because of this, it’s very important to thoroughly wash veggies and fruits that can be eaten raw. Also, if you’re planning to grow your own edible plants, make sure to use only organic products or ask the local US-EPA about what type of pesticides or fertilizers are safe to use.

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Claire Brent is a full-time freelance writer who has done a lot of research about pest control and how pesticides can affect health. She hopes that with her articles, people will learn more about their pest management options.

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