DT Health: Shawarma or not, food poisoning has more than what meets eye

For the public, general cautions such as heating or boiling the food to a high temperature before consumption, avoiding places with unhygienic food practices, and washing hands with soap before going out are some of the common safety practices.
DT Health: Shawarma or not, food poisoning has more than what meets eye
Representative image

CHENNAI: Food poisoning has become a common illness nowadays, especially during summer. We hear cases of hospital admissions and death after consuming spoiled food (shawarma in the latest instance) because of their careless handling at the shops.

Representative image
Shawarma shops without storage to be closed: Ma Subramanian

Many things can lead to food poisoning, the most common cause being food contamination. “Food contamination can result in two things, pathogen contamination or formation of toxins by the pathogens which act on the food. Direct contamination of pathogens results in the attachment of pathogens to the stomach or intestinal cells and resulting in the generation of toxic components which would cause diarrhoea or vomiting,” said Dr A Mohamed Hakkim, Emergency Physician, Tiruchy.

“Sometimes this results in a delayed reaction where the person would experience the negative effects much later after they have consumed the contaminated food. This is because the bacteria or any said pathogen would take an incubation period where it would attach to the stomach wall or travel from there to the intestine, taking its time to multiply and produce toxins and negative reactions,” he added.

Food poisoning is a relatively common illness, but not many know that it can be very fatal too. It might cause severe dehydration in such a short period which may cause renal damage or failure. It has the chance of producing sepsis, which may even cause simultaneous multi-organ problems.

Representative image
Amid shawarma scare, over 300 kg stale meat seized across Tamil Nadu

For the public, general cautions such as heating or boiling the food to a high temperature before consumption, avoiding places with unhygienic food practices, and washing hands with soap before going out are some of the common safety practices.

Representative image
Shawarma and the 'illness' surrounding it: Points to note

“Any kind of protein should be stored in a freezer to keep it fresh and healthy. If not, bacteria can multiply and cause food poison,” said Dr Dharini Krishnan, Dietician.

“If the food is kept outside uncovered for more than three hours, especially non-vegetarian food, they start getting spoiled. Uncooked meat should not be kept in the freezer for over three days. However, it depends on the temperature too,” added Dr Dharini.

Representative image
Officials raid shawarma shops in Kanchi, imposes fine for unhygienic preparation

Related Stories

No stories found.