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  • Foodborne illness

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    Foodborne illness (also foodborne disease and colloquially referred to as food poisoning) is any illness resulting from the food spoilage of contaminated food, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food, as well as toxins such as poisonous mushrooms and various species of beans that have not been boiled for at least 10 minutes. Symptoms vary depending on the cause, and are described below in this article. A few broad generalizations can be made, e.g.: The incubation period ranges from hours to days, depending on the cause and on how much was consumed. The incubation period tends to cause sufferers to not associate the symptoms with the item consumed, and so to cause sufferers to attribute the symptoms to gastroenteritis for example. Symptoms often include vomiting, fever, and aches, and may include diarrhea. Bouts of vomiting can be repeated with an extended delay in between, because even if infected food was eliminated from the stomach in the first bout, microbes (if applicable) can pass through the stomach into the intestine and begin to multiply.

  • Scombroid food poisoning

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    Scombroid food poisoning, also known as simple scombroid, is a foodborne illness that typically results from eating spoiled fish. Symptoms may include flushed skin, headache, itchiness, blurred vision, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Onset of symptoms is typically 10 to 60 minutes after eating and can last for up to two days. Rarely breathing problems or an irregular heart beat may occur. Scombroid occurs from eating fish high in histamine due to inappropriate storage or processing. Fish commonly implicated include tuna, mackerel, mahi mahi, sardine, anchovy, herring, bluefish, amberjack, and marlin. These fish naturally have high levels of histidine which is converted to histamine when bacterial growth occurs during improper storage. Subsequent cooking, smoking, or freezing does not eliminate the histamine. Diagnosis is typically based on the symptoms and may be supported by a normal blood tryptase. If a number of people who eat the same fish develop symptoms the diagnosis is more likely. Prevention is by refrigerating or freezing fish right after it is caught. Treatment is generally with antihistamines such as diphenhydramine and ranitidine. Epinephrine may be used for severe symptoms. Along with ciguatera fish poisoning, it is one of the most common type of seafood poisoning. It occurs globally in both temperate and tropical waters. Only one death has been reported. The condition was first described in 1799.

  • Food poisoning

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