The phrase “food poisoning” refers to illness which result from eating bacteria in food products, or bacteria transferred to them. How food is prepared and stored can increase or decrease the risk of food poisoning. The preparation and storage of mayonnaise is a good example regarding risk factors.
Food Poisoning from Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise, a condiment used in many recipes, traditionally has been suspect in terms of the cause of food poisoning. This misconception derives from the time when most mayonnaise in the home was made from scratch, and not commercially produced. Salmonella is a bacteria found in the bodies of poultry and other farm animals. An egg is one of the ingredients used to make mayonnaise. The mayonnaise produced commercially contain pasteurized (treated with heat to sterilize) eggs. If mayonnaise does become contaminated, improper storage or cross-contamination in all likelihood is the cause.
Some of the signs of food poisoning are excessively thirst, dry mouth, little or no urine and confusion. Other signs include a fever of up to 101.5, others who ate the same food are experiencing the same symptoms and persistent symptoms lasting beyond two days.
Symptoms of salmonella poison include feelings of exhaustion and queasiness, as well as stomachaches and/or cramping, fever, diarrhea and dehydration. Food poisoning can fatal for groups such as infants, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. In order to determine if it is food poisoning or a virus, a stool culture is required.
The majority of people with salmonella poisoning will not require treatment, as the condition usually resolves itself within four to seven days. Persons suffering with food poisoning should drink plenty of liquids; however avoid coffee, tea, sodas and sports drinks. Slowly introduce foods, after the abdominal pains have diminished, using the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast). Avoid foods that may aggravate the stomach, such as foods that have high fiber content or those high in fat. In severe cases, the person may have to be hospitalized, and if the bacteria enter the bloodstream, the person may require antibiotics.
Limit the risk of food poisoning by avoiding raw and unpasteurized foods, such as raw eggs, cookie dough, tiramisu, chocolate mousse and egg nog. Eat meat that is thoroughly cooked and not pink inside. Freezing foods will not kill all of the bacteria, therefore food should be thoroughly cooked. Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables before eating. In addition, practice good hygiene by washing your hands before and during food preparation, using different utensils, and avoiding cross-contaminating, for example, using the same cutting board, or placing raw food near deli or salad foods.