Foodborne illnesses are incredibly common in the U.S., despite the country’s modern food supply. Millions of Americans get infected with these diseases each year, and several thousand die from them. Paying attention to food safety is important for every family since anyone could be affected. If you do develop possible symptoms of foodborne illness, it’s time to visit an urgent care clinic.
Types of Infections
There are over 250 foodborne illnesses that can affect humans. These are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Some of the most common infections transmitted by unsafe food are:
- E. coli
- Clostridium perfringens
Any food could potentially become contaminated with germs or parasites, but there are some that are more often culprits of outbreaks, such as the following animal products.
- Unpasteurized milk
- Meat and poultry
Compounding the problem is the fact that just one hamburger patty can contain fragments of beef from dozens or even hundreds of animals. These products can become contaminated before, during, or after processing. Animal products aren’t the only type of food that can transmit infections. Raw vegetables and fruits can also cause foodborne illnesses, especially if they were processed in an unsanitary way or grown with fresh manure used as fertilizer.
Symptoms of Foodborne Illnesses
Since there are so many different foodborne illnesses, the symptoms can vary widely. Urgent care doctors who treat these patients most often take note of digestive issues like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. Other possible symptoms include:
- Bloody diarrhea
- Joint and backaches
- Loss of appetite
Steps to Prevent Infection
It’s tricky to protect your family from things you can’t see, and contaminated foods look and smell the same as safe foods. When dining out, choose restaurants that receive high grades in sanitation from health inspectors. Wash your hands before preparing food and eating, and wash your hands while preparing food, especially if you touch raw meat. Cook meat to a safe internal temperature, which you can check with a meat thermometer.
If you’re experiencing digestive issues, you can find the rapid medical care you need at Paramount Urgent Care. Our five locations are fully staffed by dedicated urgent care providers who genuinely care about our patients’ well-being. Please visit our contact us page to see our walk-in clinic location near you or call 352-674-9218.