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Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Diet That Works

Sorry, I'm just joking.  My husband and I are recovering from food poisoning and while we did shed a few pounds and don't really feel like eating much yet, I certainly don't recommend it as a way to lose weight.  However, I do feel the subject is worth mentioning since we will all be attending parties and preparing plenty of special meals.  Let's keep the season safe and healthy for all.

Food poisoning is very much like any stomach virus and has the same symptoms: fatigue, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, etc.  Food poisoning can set in 2 to 24 hours after eating contaminated food and last 1 to 14 days.  Stomach viruses take effect 1 to 2 days after exposure.  If several people get sick after eating the same food, food poisoning may be the cause.  My husband and I both ate the same salad at a restaurant on Monday and by about 2 or 3 on Tuesday afternoon, we were both sick so we suspect food poisoning.

Treat either by resting and drinking extra fluids as soon as your stomach will allow.  Drinking pedialyte or Gatorade isn't necessary but may help.  My family has always sworn by the BRAT diet after the stomach virus to ease back into food.  Eat Bananas, Rice, Applesauce or Toast as these seems to go down well.  Gingersnap cookies also help with nausea.  You'll probably want to avoid heavy meals for a few days.

If the symptoms persist more than two days or are very severe, seek medical help.  My son also suffered from salmonella once and was hospitalized for three days as he couldn't keep any fluids down and became dehydrated.  He continued to have diarrhea for at least another week.    

Please be careful in all your food preparations and make careful choices at parties and food buffets where food may have been sitting out too long.  Make sure you keep food at the proper temperature when serving it; hot foods hot and cold foods cold.  Don't eat food that has been left sitting out - toss it.  Refrigerate leftovers as soon as the meal is over.  When handling raw meat and eggs, wash your hands and all surfaces the food touches carefully in hot water.  If you are traveling to Grandma's for the holidays, don't transport foods long distances.  Prepare the food when you get there and leave the leftovers at Grandma's.  Wash fruits and vegetables before preparing them and discard questionable looking or smelling items.  Don't forget to wash your cleaning sponge or dishrags daily as these can harbor germs.  Get a good thermometer and cook meat to the proper internal temperature.

I hope these tips and reminders will help everyone to enjoy their holiday and avoid the stomach virus diet.  You don't want your friends and family to remember your holiday bash by how sick everyone was afterwards.    

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