Food poisoning can change your life

Long term effects of foodborne illness.

Most of the time we think of food poisoning as stomach cramps, maybe vomiting and diarrhea. Rarely do we hear or see the long term effects it can have on a body. There are some serious complications that can become a part of your life. Foodborne illness can be as small as feeling like the flu, or it can be deadly.

Different types of foodborne illness affect each body in various ways. If you have a compromised immune system, are very young or are older, chances of contracting a foodborne illness is greater. Also depending on what virus, bacteria or toxin is contracted your symptoms and severity can be different.

Kidney failure is a serious complication that can occur with hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). This is a possibility after contracting E. coli bacteria. The bacteria can cause an infection that can produce a toxin substance that may cause injury to the kidney.

Chronic arthritis can be brought on with an infection of Shigella or Salmonella. It starts with eye irritation and painful urination. If this is not taken care of it can lead to chronic arthritis. This leads to a life time of inflammation and joint pain. Another foodborne illness that can contribute to chronic arthritis is Campylobacter.

With different types of bacteria, viruses and toxins that can occur from foodborne illness there are still several other long term affects that can take place. There can be brain and nerve damage or even death that can change the life of individuals with low or compromised immune systems, infants or the very young and older adults. We all can contract foodborne illness but the chances are increased for these individuals. Listeria can cause mental retardation, seizures, paralysis, blindness and deafness in newborn infants.

Michigan State University Extension recommends taking simple precautions by washing your hands often and for at least 20 seconds under warm, running water. Keep hot foods hot, 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Keep cold foods cold, 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower and when in doubt, through it out. Do your part in keeping your food safe and free from foodborne pathogens.

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