Leaving food in a container too long can cause a number of health problems. If you are served food of this nature in a restaurant, food poisoning is probably not far behind.
What are the main dangers of leaving food in a container too long?
The main danger of leaving food in a container for too long is that it will become contaminated and cause food poisoning or other illnesses.
What is food poisoning?
Food poisoning is caused by eating contaminated food. Whilst it’s undoubtedly an unpleasant experience, it isn’t all that serious and symptoms will pass in a few days. Food becomes contaminated in two main ways:
- By bacteria such as salmonella or Escherichia coli (E. coli)
- By a virus such as norovirus
What are the symptoms of food poisoning?
Food poisoning symptoms usually begin within one or two days of the contaminated food being consumed. Having said that, they can come on as quickly as a few hours later, or as long as a few weeks. The main symptoms of food poisoning include:
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Stomach cramps and abdominal pain
- High temperature
- Aching muscles and a lack of energy
What is the best treatment for food poisoning?
As mentioned, most people recover from food poisoning in a few days. During this time, you should rest as much as possible. To avoid dehydration, you should also try and drink plenty of water, even if you have to take small sips.
In terms of eating, you should try when you can. Aim for bland, dry foods such as toast and crackers until you feel better.
Do I need to see my GP for food poisoning symptoms?
Most of the time, a visit to your GP won’t be necessary, However, there are some circumstances where it would be better to get checked out. These include:
- If you’re pregnant
- If you’re over 60 years of age
- You have a weak immune system or certain underlying health conditions
- Your symptoms don’t improve after a few days
- Your symptoms are severe – e.g. you can’t keep any fluids down
Can I make an illness claim following a bout of food poisoning?
If you suffer food poisoning after eating at a restaurant, call Accident Advice Helpline about an illness compensation claim. Dial 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from mobiles.