Food Poisoning Treatment Specialist in Rockville MD
Food poisoning is often a miserable condition, and there is some risk of serious outcomes. You may need our medical assistance to treat symptoms of food poisoning and help your digestive system recover. Physicians Now Urgent Care in Rockville MD takes walk-in patients at our clinic at 15215 Shady Grove Road, Suite 100, Rockville MD 20850, or you can call us for more information.
Table of Contents:
There are over 250 different bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause what is known as food poisoning or stomach flu. These are the most common types:
• E. coli bacteria – This is most often found in undercooked meat or contaminated vegetables.
• Salmonella bacteria – Is usually associated with raw or undercooked chicken and eggs, pork and beef, spoiled or past due milk and dairy products, and produce.
• Listeria bacteria – Can be very dangerous to infants, pregnant women, or anyone that is immunocompromised. Usually found on uncooked or undercooked meat and vegetables, and some processed foods like deli meat.
• Norovirus – Can be found on any food that has been handled by someone who doesn’t practice proper food safety measures.
• Botulism bacteria – Most frequently associated with canned or cured foods like vegetables, fruits, and meats. The bacteria produce a neurotoxin that can be very dangerous.
• Camplylobacter – Another bacteria commonly found on poultry and poultry products. Campylobacter is very frequently seen causing food poisoning in the US and Europe.
• Shigella bacteria – Spread by vegetables handled by food preparers who don’t use proper food safety hygiene.
The symptoms depend on the cause of the food poisoning. Most people who become ill from foodborne pathogens experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. These gastrointestinal symptoms come on suddenly and can range from mild discomfort to severe sickness. These symptoms can last for just a few hours, or a few days. If a person has been ill with food poisoning for more than a few days, or if they have been vomiting frequently or having severe, prolonged, or bloody diarrhea, they should seek medical care. It is very easy to become dehydrated from food poisoning and this can be easily treated.
Some types of food poisoning also have more serious symptoms.
• Listeria can be extremely dangerous in a pregnant woman and can cause miscarriage, premature labor, stillbirth, or pass the infection on to the infant.
• Botulism can cause paralysis, body aches and weakness, and even death.
• Campylobacter infections can cause, in addition to gastrointestinal symptoms, fever, joint pain, and Guillain-Barre syndrome (which is severe muscle weakness).
If any of these more severe symptoms appear, medical attention is needed. Physicians Now Urgent Care in Rockville MD can treat you for any food poisoning-related symptoms, from helping manage your digestive system distress, getting you rehydrated, identifying serious infections, and beginning appropriate treatment.
Most cases of food poisoning are related to improper cleaning, preparation, undercooking, or storage of food.
Food poisoning can be prevented by following food safety and using proper hygiene practices.
• Wash hands well before and while preparing food.
• Always wash produce well.
• Store food properly. Keep all raw food on a lower level than any cooked food in a refrigerator. Keep food in a sealed container or safely wrapped.
• Have separate cutting boards for meats, poultry, and vegetables.
• Never use the same knife for different foods without washing it in between.
• Frozen food should be thawed safely, in the refrigerator, in cold or running water, or in a microwave. Do not thaw meat at room temperature. Once the meat is thawed, do not re-freeze it.
• Do not consume raw or undercooked meat. When cooking meat, use a meat thermometer to make sure food is cooked to a safe temperature.
• Avoid unpasteurized cheese, milk, and dairy products. Pasteurization heats the food during processing to a temperature that kills dangerous bacteria.
• Don’t keep prepared food at room temperature for longer than two hours.
• Store hot foods above 140 degrees F.
• Cold foods must be stored below 40 degrees F.
• If eating leftover food, make sure it was stored at a safe temperature and re-heated only one time.
• Do not eat food that is past its expiry date or that has been stored for too long after cooking.
Although most cases of food poisoning resolve on their own with time, the symptoms can be disruptive, violent, and painful. Dehydration is common with frequent vomiting and diarrhea, particularly in children and seniors. Because of the nausea, you may not feel like drinking fluids to rehydrate yourself, and you may need to receive rehydration from urgent care.
If symptoms include feeling lightheaded or fainting, confusion, breathing problems, weakness, high fever, seizures, changes to your vision, or if you are pregnant, you should seek urgent care. You don’t need an appointment at Physicians Now Urgent Care in Rockville MD. Patients of any age can walk in for care at our clinic located at 15215 Shady Grove Road, Suite 100, Rockville MD 20850 and alsoserve patients from North Potomac MD, Gaithersburg MD, Germantown MD, Travilah MD and Derwood MD. We look forward to meeting you!