Eating healthy foods is not just enough, but ensuring that the foods consumed are whole and devoid of foodborne parasites and bacteria, due to the deadly nature of these parasites and bacteria. Some of the parasites and bacteria are very minute and cannot be seen with the naked eyes, and neither can they be tasted which makes it more important to be very careful with the way we handle many of the foods we consume.
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With that in mind, in this article, we would be looking at four (4) parasites and bacteria that may be hiding in your food and how to prevent them from causing ailments and infections. They are briefly discussed below:
1. E. coli
The E. coli strain that is considered dangerous is the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, also called STEC. Strains of STEC often create a toxin called Shiga which is highly toxic to the human body. E. coli is often found in undercooked beef and when such undercooked beef is consumed, it could lead to fever, stomach cramps, vomiting, and bloody diarrhoea.
There is no medication for treating E. coli infections but it can be prevented by cooking all your meat thoroughly, washing your hands frequently, and keeping your cooking space clean.
Giardia is another dangerous foodborne illness and it is caused by consuming foods that have been contaminated with faeces containing the parasite. The most common food source where you are most likely to get giardiasis infection includes undercooked pork, lamb, or wild game. Its symptoms include gas, cramps, diarrhoea, and nausea, and the symptoms may take 2 weeks before appearing.
Giardia can be prevented by washing your hands frequently, drinking treated water, and not swallowing water when swimming.
A larger proportion of the tapeworms that affect humans often come from eating undercooked meats such as beef and pork, and contaminated raw or undercooked fish. It is possible to live with tapeworms without showing symptoms but with its infection, you may lose weight, experience pain in the abdominal, and irritation of the anus.
Tapeworm infection can be prevented by thoroughly washing all fruits before you eat or cook them and thoroughly cooking all the meat you eat.
Cryptosporidium parasites are protected by a hard shell and are found in fresh produce, milk, and fruit juice. Cryptosporidium cause cryptosporidiosis, an infection that may be characterised by symptoms like stomach upset, low fever, cramps, and watery diarrhoea.
It can be prevented by thoroughly washing your hands and produce, and drinking pasteurised milk and juices.
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