Medical Medium Blog

Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is rampant, and in some cases it can lead to serious injury or even death. Fortunately, there are numerous protective measures you can take to prevent food poisoning at home and when you’re eating out. In this article I’ll share these tips plus ways you can heal from food poisoning if you do contract it.

Your Unique Diet

Different ways of eating work best for different people depending on their unique circumstances, lifestyles, and health issues. Some people choose to eat vegan or vegetarian, while others choose to include meat and animal products. My goal is to help protect and support you and your health on your unique food journey, regardless of what dietary choices you follow.

Food Poisoning Consequences

Food poisoning is serious, and unfortunately it’s very easy to contract. During the Thanksgiving holiday alone, thousands of people contract food poisoning because of undercooked turkey. If someone comes down with food poisoning, various strains of E. coli may be wreaking havoc in their gut. This bacteria can move through the gut, drill into the linings of the colon or another organ, and may create chaos in the gallbladder and/or appendix. Some people experience ulcerative issues and/or damaged linings in the intestinal tract and colon. In certain cases, people are forced to undergo gallbladder removal surgery or an appendectomy.

If someone goes to the E.R. with food poisoning, there’s little a doctor can do other than keep an eye on the patient and administer fluids to keep the patient from dying of dehydration. Symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and/or pain can last for multiple days.

Cooking At Home

People usually prepare meals at home more than they eat out. Taking these protective measures can ensure greater health and safety for you and your loved ones:

  • Take caution when removing raw meat from its package. Grocery store packaging is often covered in as many as a dozen varieties of bacteria, including C. diff, MRSA, streptococcus, and Salmonella. That means when you pick up or open a package, harmful bacteria can easily get onto your hands. It’s critical to wash your hands right away after you open packages of meat.
  • Make sure your hands are clean when you pick up your knife after touching raw animal foods and their packages, otherwise the knife handle can become contaminated with dangerous bacteria. If you suspect the knife handle or blade has been contaminated, swap it out for a new, clean knife.
  • Consider putting on nitrile gloves before taking meat out of its packaging. Once the meat is out and ready to be prepared, you can pull off the gloves and know that you have clean hands.
  • Never rinse any kind of raw meat in the sink before cooking it, because this can cause dangerous bacteria to settle in the sink. Then if you accidentally drop any other foods into the sink while prepping, they can easily pick up dangerous bacteria.
  • Once you transfer raw fish or meat to the pan or cookware, stick the empty plate into the dishwasher or thoroughly sanitize it. Never put cooked meat or fish back onto a plate that once held raw protein—that’s very dangerous. Use a new, clean plate for cooked items.
  • Be mindful of how you use meat glazes and sauces. If you brush a raw piece of meat with sauce, bacteria from the meat may collect in the bristles. This can lead to contamination if that brush is used again or if the brush is placed back into the sauce.
  • Be mindful of your utensils. For example, if you use a fork to transfer raw meat onto a grill, make sure to retire that fork and use another clean utensil when you take your meat off the grill.
  • Use care with cutting boards, which easily become contaminated. After cutting raw meat, it’s critical to immediately and thoroughly wash and sanitize the cutting board. Or, if you want to be even more cautious, have a new, clean cutting board ready to go for any other prep you may need to do. Make sure the cutting board used to cut raw meat is placed in a different spot or on a different countertop so that the two boards are not confused.
  • Clean your surfaces! If juices from a raw piece of meat get on a counter or cutting board and you place a clean plate on top of this area, the bottom of the plate can get contaminated and so too will your hands when you pick up the plate.

It’s not about being a perfectionist in the kitchen, but it is about doing the best you possibly can to keep you and your family safe.

Eating at Restaurants

The kitchens in restaurants are typically intensely busy. The pressure is unbelievably high and there are a number of moving parts.

In restaurant kitchens, raw poultry, meats, and fish are frequently washed in the same sinks as the lettuces and other vegetables. This regularly leads to cross-contamination. Countertops and surfaces in kitchens are often not cleaned thoroughly, which also leads to frequent cross-contamination.

Plus, chefs and cooks often throw on a pair of gloves after cutting themselves, and then remove them a couple of days later–but these old cuts can still bleed on and off.

Tips When Eating Out

Here are a few things you can do to help avoid food poisoning when eating out:

  • If you’re vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based, the safest strategy is to try to avoid restaurants that serve animal protein or animal products when possible. Cross-contamination issues occur easily when raw meat or its juices accidentally come into contact with plant foods, like lettuce. If you end up at a place that serves animal products when you’re out with family and friends, just follow the tips below to stay safer.
  • Choose cooked meals that are served piping hot, versus raw salads or raw meals.
  • If you’re set on ordering a raw meal, ask for fresh lemon, raw onion and garlic to add to your meal. You can also ask your waiter if the kitchen has whole, uncut avocados. If so, order one or more to slice at your table and scoop onto your plate for a satiating and safer raw meal option.
  • If your plate arrives at the table lukewarm, politely ask if it can be sent back and thoroughly reheated. In addition to contamination issues, a chef suffering from Epstein-Barr or another virus could have dripped sweat into your food or accidentally cut him or herself and bled into your food by accident. Reheating the entire plate can help protect you from picking up a harmful virus or bacteria.
  • Always be polite when asking for meal changes or extra additions to your dish. Over the years, I’ve helped many clients who’ve worked in the restaurant business. I’ve heard some terrible stories about what can happen to dishes when customers are impolite or upset a waiter or chef.
  • Ask your waiter to avoid adding sauce onto your dish after it’s been heated and is ready to be served. Chefs often use squeeze bottles to dispense sauces. But bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, take cover in these bottles because the bottles are frequently around raw chicken and meat or are handled by contaminated hands.
  • Never order your meat rare. Even if you’ve done this for dozens of years without consequence, that doesn’t mean the next time you order a rare piece of meat you won’t contract a horrible case of food poisoning. Whether you’re ordering a high-quality piece of steak or just a basic burger, order meat medium or well-done.

When you enter restaurants with a greater sense of awareness you can enjoy yourself while protecting your health as best as possible.

Foods to Arm Yourself

Many foods have amazing healing qualities. These foods in particular may help you avoid food poisoning:

Oregano Capsules: Take an oregano capsule before heading out to eat. Just one capsule has the ability to help prevent food poisoning. If you take a capsule before a meal out, the capsule will be ready to disperse around the food in your stomach once you begin to eat and digest. You can think of oregano as a powerful safety barrier against Salmonella and E. coli.

Garlic: Asking for garlic to be added to both cooked and raw dishes when you’re out at a restaurant can be a wonderful protective measure. Raw garlic is a powerful weapon that can spread throughout the stomach and kill bacteria.

Thyme: If you’re at a restaurant, ask if the kitchen has some fresh thyme the chef can sprinkle on your dish.

Peppermint: Peppermint tea has powerful antibacterial qualities. Many restaurants have peppermint tea, but you can also bring your own tea bags from home. Sip this drink before and during your meal.

Ginger: Ginger can kill bacteria in the stomach. Drinking ginger tea before and after your meal is a highly protective measure.

Lemon: Squeezing a lemon onto your dish can offer wonderful protection. If you order a raw dish, even in a vegan or plant-based restaurant, squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice onto the meal. Lemon juice can act as an incredible antiseptic. You may even want to drink some lemon water alongside your meal.

High-quality salt: Try adding a pinch of high-quality sea salt to your meal, as the salt can help kill off bacteria.

Sometimes you have to be flexible when it comes to choosing where to eat. Fortunately, the list of foods above can be powerful weapons at any restaurant you choose. Don’t feel uncomfortable about sticking a lemon in your purse or a tea bag in your pocket before you head to a restaurant. Arming yourself with these secret weapons can keep you from getting sick.

Avoiding Raw Meat & Fish

Certain doctors say that animal protein and animal products can kill you because they can clog your arteries, raise your cholesterol, and increase your risk of a heart attack. But there’s more to it than this. In their raw form, fish and animal proteins such as chicken, turkey, and steak can be dangerous. If you eat these types of food raw, you could lose your life. If you want to look out for your health, eliminate steak tartare, raw fish, or any type of uncooked animal protein from your diet. Raw fish, while popular, is a prime way to get a dangerous bacteria or worms.

Grass-Fed & Free-Range Versus Factory-Farmed

If you include meats and other animal products in your diet, choosing high-quality options can better support your health and safety.

Grass-fed beef and free-range chickens are less likely to contain dangerous strains of Salmonella, E. coli, and other harmful bugs and bacteria compared with meat from factory farms. Purchasing grass-fed meat from small farms can be a wonderful step towards greater safety, but most small farms still have to ship their meat to a factory for processing. Some factories handle mostly grass-fed and free-range products, but other factories handle both grass-fed and grain-fed products, which means cross contamination can occur.

Salmonella and other harmful bacteria can also be found on the outside of most conventional eggs. By contrast, free-range eggs rarely have Salmonella and other dangerous bacteria on their shells. Nonetheless, if you suffer from viral issues, neurological problems, or any kind of autoimmune disease, it’s best to eliminate eggs.

My Food Poisoning Story

When I was a young child, I went out to eat at a restaurant with my family and chose a menu item that Spirit advised against ordering. I ended up getting horrible food poisoning, and I nearly died. I was agonizingly sick for weeks and eventually recovered after Spirit instructed me to eat only heirloom pears from my great grandfather’s pear tree for a period of time. Fortunately, this protocol helped me recover, and I became a lucky survivor of food poisoning. Many people aren’t so fortunate. I’ve witnessed hundreds of cases of food poisoning throughout the years and have heard numerous food poisoning-related stories. Sadly, not everyone who contracts food poisoning survives.

Recovering from Food Poisoning

If you take measures to protect yourself but still end up getting food poisoning, know that there are a few things you can do to support your body as you heal. Hydrating yourself throughout your illness is essential.

  • Mix coconut water (fresh or pasteurized) with regular, high-quality water and sip it frequently between bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. This drink is also beneficial if you’re only experiencing gut pain.
  • Frequently sip lemon water and ginger water.
  • If you have terrible food poisoning, it’s important to go to the hospital to be monitored and given an I.V.

If you’ve suffered from food poisoning in the past, you may want to apply this information to knock down old bacteria that could still be in your system.

Moving Forward

Do you need to stop eating your favorite raw salad at the local vegan restaurant? No. Do you need to stop eating animal products if you feel healthy and happy? No. This information is not meant to alarm you, deter you from eating out, or in any way cause you to stop living your life to the fullest. Instead, this knowledge is meant to empower you so that you can enter each new situation with the tools and wisdom you need to thrive.

Instead of living in fear, put on your armor of protection by asking the right questions at restaurants, ordering and asking for what you need, bringing along items that can support you, and taking precautions in your own kitchen when you’re cooking.

This item posted: 05-Apr-2017


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