As reported by the NHS, between approximately 600,000 and 1 million people are subjected to food poisoning every year in the UK. Here at Cute Injury, we have a list of the common foods that could potentially cause the illness and we have some information on what to look out for in order to avoid food contamination and a severe case of the bad bug…
Chicken and poultry are amongst the riskiest foods for causing food poisoning, with as many as 500,000 cases being reported per year (bearing in mind that many do not report such incidents, so the amount of cases could be a lot higher). Latest statistics produced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) suggest that there has been a 17% increase in the number of reported human cases of campylobacter since 2016. Chicken and poultry should always be cooked thoroughly to prevent infection, kill the bacteria, and reduce chances of suffering from pathogens (bugs) such as salmonella and campylobacter.
Contaminated shellfish such as king prawns, muscles, lobsters and so on, can cause very serious bouts of food poisoning, as shown by the time when over 300 passengers aboard the P&O Cruise ship Oriana suffered from the bug back in December 2012. Recent statistics made available by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) demonstrate campylobacter as the most common foodborne pathogen, which can be found in shellfish and causes around 280,000 food poisoning cases annually.
Eggs may contain salmonella bacteria, which is why you should always stray away from consuming raw or partially cooked eggs. Usually, cooking at a sufficient heat destroys this bacterium and minimises the risk of contracting a foodborne illness. The Incredible Egg states that there is a very low chance of an egg being contaminated with salmonella bacteria, with around 1 in 20,000 eggs containing the pathogen. However, caution should still be taken when consuming eggs.
At least 30 outbreaks of foodborne illnesses from different types of raw and unsuitably cooked sprouts have been reported in the last 21 years, according to the NHS. The health body also reports that each case was caused by E.coli or salmonella and that many cases were a result of eating raw bean sprouts. These food items should be cooked sufficiently so that they are hot throughout; unless the raw products are packaged stating that they are ‘ready to eat’.
Leafy salads are also able to cause food poisoning, particularly when leaves such as spinach and lettuce are not washed properly and contain bacteria. Extra care should be taken to ensure that you wash any salad ingredients and that you read all guidelines on the packaging.
Unpasteurised dairy products, such as raw milk from sheep, cows or goats that has not been sterilised to destroy dangerous bacteria like E.coli, salmonella, and listeria, are responsible for causing a variety of foodborne illnesses. People sensitive to milk proteins can also suffer from allergic reactions following the consumption of dairy products have not been purified. Consumers of dairy products should always read the label to make sure that it has been pasteurised.
Foods containing starch include bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals and couscous, all have high moisture content and when products like this are warmed up, they can cause food poisoning. This is because when cooked food is left to fall to room temperature, bacteria can then formulate; reheating food will not get rid of this and can cause you to suffer with sickness or diarrhoea.
If a food item like rice is going to be reheated for eating later, it needs to be left to cool once it’s been cooked within an hour and kept in the fridge to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading and getting any foodborne illnesses. It should be consumed within 24 hours of cooking the food product.
Soft cheeses like camembert and brie can easily become contaminated with listeria monocytogenes bacteria if they are not eaten within their ‘use-by’ dates. This bacterium can also easily infect other chilled ready-to-eat foods like cold meats, pâté, and sandwiches, which when contaminated, have a higher death and hospitalisation rate.
If you have endured pain and suffering from food poisoning after eating food that was incorrectly prepared or stored, you may have the right to claim compensation. It is crucial to speak to a claims specialist at the soonest possible time as there are specific time limits for making a claim. For more information and assistance with your potential case, get in touch with our advisors at Cute Injury today.
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