Several people have been brought down by food poisoning after eating packaged salad, one person has died and eleven others have been hospitalized according the United States of America Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. The following states are so far affected: Michigan, Massachusetts, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York.

The organism implicated is listeria which has an incubation period of 3 to 70 days

Dole, the manufacturer of the salad has begun the withdrawal of the product from grocery stores.

Children and pregnant women at high risk; the infection can cause miscarriage.

Food poisoning is an illness which arises from eating contaminated food including un-boiled milk. It is characterised by a feeling of being unwell, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pains, cramp and occasionally fever.

The condition is more used to describe the illness referred to above when the food consumption is at community gatherings such as parties, marriages etc. However it can also from eating in hotels or when contaminated food is sold inadvertently to people through stores /groceries/supermarkets.

Period of onset after consumption of the contaminated food varies from 1 hour t0 70 days; depending on the organism involved.

Food poisoning is common during festive periods.

Food poisoning is usually due to germs such as bacteria, virus or parasites. The commonest germs are staphylococcus,  Listeria , clostridium, salmonella, shigella, E. Coli and noro-virus.

The illness is caused by the toxins produced by the germs either outside or inside our body, this determines how quickly the illness starts.

The food can be contaminated during growth, production, processing, shipping and preparation; this preparation can include slaughtering of the animal, cutting into small parts which can become contaminated by the feaces of the animal.

There could also be “cross-contamination”, a situation in which the platform used for cutting poultry for example is used for cutting vegetables and fruits without thorough cleansing first.

Food can be contaminated by flies, by infected food handlers, or by food handlers whose hands became contaminated by touching items previously handled by infected persons and forgetting to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water.

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