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How not to get poisoned on vacation

Summer life is unfair: some leave and the sea, the other — the diagnosis of «gastroenteritis» and a couple of weeks in the infectious diseases hospital.

How do people get poisoned, how to avoid it and how to get out of a difficult situation with minimal losses?

Acute intestinal infections, or OKI, — a typical summer attack. They are caused by enterobacteria and viruses, for which temperatures from 20 degrees and above are ideal conditions for rapid reproduction.

But let us pay tribute to the human factor: many of us are doing everything possible to make life easier for the insidious organisms. Namely:

one. Eating something «wrong.» In the summer, products deteriorate very quickly.

Prepared food should be consumed no later than 6–12 hours after preparation.

At the same time, there are no guarantees that the true time was set on the store salad and that it was transported and stored correctly. In general, you eat it at your own peril and risk. Especially if it has mayonnaise or sour cream.

Common causes of poisoning are milk and dairy products, eggs, sausage and cream cakes: salmonella reproduces well under suitable conditions.

And in dried and salted fish and canned food periodically find pathogens of botulism.

2 The next item on the program is food on the beach. What you need for infections: heat, unsanitary conditions, suspicious seller without a medical book.

They willingly buy boiled corn, baklava, and sausages in dough.

What is the reason — relaxed from the heat of consciousness or hope, «maybe blow over», who knows.

But «will carry«Often brought to life in the literal way.


And another couple of almost win-win options: buy sliced ​​watermelon and order a cocktail with ice at the beach bar.

The watermelon is unclear what they cut, how much and where they stored it, the ice — from which water they froze … It should work!

four. According to statistics in 50% of cases, the source of trouble is home cooking.

The main reasons: poor-quality products and improper storage.

The main summer rule: to cook at one time and keep all products strictly in the refrigerator.

five. And, of course, the most trivial reason is dirty hands.

A few dozen pathogens are enough to get sick. And if in winter flaws with hygiene can go unpunished, in summer it is unlikely.

If you cannot wash your hands, use disinfecting wipes and gels.

6 Basking in the waters with the inscription «Swimming is prohibited«. Every summer, in the city’s waters, another infection appears E. coli, and every summer, sun-weary citizens bathe right under forbidding posters.

In this there is even a certain urban chic — sip vodichki teeming with bacteria and not get sick!

But not everyone is so lucky.


Dive into city fountains.

The situation is about the same as in rivers and lakes, only the risk of catching the infection is even higher — a small amount of water, non-functioning purification systems, a large number of people, including wild dogs and birds, who tolerate many dangerous infections for humans … dysentery even the paratroopers are sick.

Disorders for the tourist

Why not just bring tourists from travel!

Among the souvenirs — gastric flu, gastroenteritis, salmonellosis, jaundice, norovirus and others infections.

The easiest way to catch infection in hot countries with not too strict ideas about hygiene: in India, Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey.

However, in countries with a high level of development, epidemics of gastrointestinal diseases periodically occur.

For example, in early summer, an outbreak of norovirus infection occurred in Yellowstone Park (USA): more than 200 visitors and employees fell ill.

Security rules are the same. Wash your hands, do not buy suspicious products — seafood is especially dangerous in this regard, they deteriorate very quickly.

Drink only bottled water, ignore unwashed and cut fruits and vegetables, drinks with ice.

Abrupt change of the menu itself can provoke stomach problems, and if you know this tendency behind you, experiment with exotic things less — choose simple dishes from familiar products in the restaurant.

As for spices, they give a disinfecting effect, especially hot pepper, thyme, turmeric, mustard.

However, if the food is literally «burning in the mouth”, There is a chance to spend the rest of the holidays in a hospital bed with aggravation of gastritis or, moreover, ulcer perforation.

Road safety
It is difficult traveling to keep from curiosity and not try outlandish snacks from the stalls of street vendors, but safety is paramount.
The first rule: in Africa and Asia, poisoning is easier than in Europe.

Second: Street counter must be clean, the seller is neat.

A good sign if he is wearing gloves and picks up food with tongs.

Third: if the stall specializes in one or two dishes and is located in a crowded place, the food in it most likely does not lie.

Fourth: choose dishes that are prepared with you.

To make the evil microbe die, food needs to be cooked, fried, steamed at a temperature not lower than 70 degrees Celsius.

Attention to detail

If you are still poisoned, adequately assess your condition. The main symptoms of acute intestinal diseases: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, high fever.

Develop on average 5–8 hours after infection has entered the body. Acute intestinal infections are extremely dangerous for children and the elderly, so they should immediately call a doctor and not engage in amateur activities.

For an adult who has signs of dehydration, fever persists, vomiting and diarrhea do not stop, especially with blood, as well.

With botulism, the symptoms are others: dizziness, blurred vision (everything is twofold), drooling, problems with speech.

They can appear in 15-20 hours from the moment of poisoning, but sometimes in a few days.

Doctor’s help is required immediately: the disease is fraught with paralysis of the respiratory muscles.

If the condition is not critical, you can be treated at home.

What do we have to do:

Drink more. Often, but little by little, so as not to provoke vomiting.

Water, mineral water without gas, strong tea, rehydron.
Remove toxins.

Sorbents like activated charcoal, smect, enterosgel are suitable for this.
Follow a diet.

Usually the poisoned organism itself knows what it needs: no-no! When the state of health improves, the first couple of days the lot of the sufferer — dried bread, rice water, oatmeal on the water, low-fat kefir, green tea.

No fresh fruits and berries that encourage peristalsis!

If everything goes well — steamed meatballs, light soup with rice, potatoes and vegetables (but not with beans and cabbage!).

After a week and a half, you can return to the usual, but reliable and thoroughly washed food.

Especially dangerous

The American Center for Science in the Public Interest has compiled a list of the most dangerous products, they account for 40% of all cases of food poisoning (descending).

  • Fresh greens. Source of infection with E. coli, salmonella, norovirus.
  • Chicken eggs. Seedlings of salmonellosis. At the same time, washing a raw egg with soap means a 60% reduction in the risk of infection.
  • Tuna. If stored improperly, toxins accumulate in it. Dangerous for pregnant women and young children — there is a lot of mercury in it.
  • Oysters It is possible to catch Norovirus and some Vibrio bacteria.
  • Potatoes. Usually in the composition of the finished dishes like store salads. Salmonella breeds well in it.
  • Soft cheese. Brie, Roquefort, feta, and the like may contain Listeria pathogens that cause listeriosis. Especially dangerous for pregnant women.
  • Ice cream. If it contains raw eggs, it can cause salmonellosis. In addition, Listeria is often found in soft ice-cream (see item 6).
  • Tomatoes. The source of the problems is the same norovirus and salmonella.
  • Sprouts. They find salmonella and E. coli.
  • Berries. They find cyclospores — the simplest parasites that cause diarrhea.

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