Food poisoning-Causes,Symptoms and How to prevent food poisoning

Food poisoning

Food poisoning is practically an illness caused by the intake or consumption of food substances or water contaminated with bacteria and/or their toxins, or with parasites, viruses, or chemicals. Noticeable examples of food poisoning pathogens are Norovirus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Campylobacter, and Staphylococcus aureus. Sometimes harmful or dangerous substances affect our food, so strict caution must be taken when trying to consume any food material. If we eat such  contaminated food, it can make us sick. This is known as food poisoning.

Causes of food poisoning

Food poisoning can be caused by any of the following:

  1. Leaving food uncovered which attracts flies and other insects to perch on them and transfer germs on to the food
  2. Using contaminated or dirty water to prepare food
  3. Leaving a food around for a long time before eating it, makes it stale or rotten and germ infected
  4. Using dirty kitchen utensils to prepare food
  5. Allowing cockroaches and other pests to touch or feed on food items
  6. Eating with dirty hands or cutlery, like folks, knives, spoons, etc.
  7. Preparing food in a dirty environment
  8. Consuming expired food and drinks, e.g, milk, biscuits, butter, etc.

Symptoms of food poisoning


  1. Frequent vomiting
  2. Constant pains in the body
  3. Continuous stooling
  4. Nausea
  5. Weakness of the body

Effect of food poisoning

  1. Food poisoning can cause dysentery
  2. Poisoned food can cause, leading to severe loss of weight and even death
  3. Serious cases of food poisoning could cause severe pains, which may lead to death

How to prevent food poisoning

Food poisoning can be prevented by:

  1. Not drinking contaminated or dirty water
  2. Keeping the kitchen clean
  3. Keeping food covered, to avoid flies and other insects from perching on it
  4. Not eating stale, rotten or expired food
  5. Keeping utensils clean and germ free before and after use
  6. Keeping cutlery and germ free before and after use
  7. Washing fruit properly before eating them
  8. Cooking food properly before eating them
  9. Not eating with dirty hands or cutlery
  10. Not consuming expired food or drinks

Review question

  1. What is food poisoning?
  2. Mention four causes of food poisoning
  3. State three symptoms of food poisoning
  4. List three effecys of food poisoning
  5. State four ways of preventing food poisoning

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