In order to effectively contain and control food poisoning outbreaks, early detection is vital. In this article, Accident Advice Helpline looks at how outbreaks are actually detected.
What is food poisoning?
Before we move on to how to detect food poisoning it’s important to understand what food poisoning actually is. Food poisoning is an umbrella term that refers to a range of over 250 bacterial infections. Some of the more common types of food poisoning include E.Coli and Salmonella. You might ask why it’s important to know the difference? Because food poisoning is such a broad and diverse term applied to different bacterial infections, it means that the symptoms and also the detection methods may vary. Some types of food poisoning may indeed be very difficult to detect in comparison to some of the more common variants.
What are the detection methods?
In most cases, a stool sample will be required of a person diagnosed with food poisoning or in the case of Listeria, a blood test. The sample will then be sent to a laboratory for analysis. This analysis should help to identify the ‘fingerprint’ or specific strain of the virus. This can then be uploaded to a database and compared with patients suffering from similar symptoms in order to identify a potential strain or source of the virus.
Such detection methods have previously been employed to trace outbreaks of specific virus strains to individual products, such as spinach or lettuce. This then allows the authorities to issue a warning to the public and manufacturers as to whether tainted produce is in circulation.
New testing standards are increasingly dispensing with the need for a stool sample and instead using blood tests to detect most forms of food poisoning. There exists an amount of discourse within the scientific community as to the effectiveness of the new forms of testing.
Contracted food poisoning? Accident Advice Helpline is here to help
In most cases, the symptoms of food poisoning last for only a few days and very rarely leave any lasting ill-effects. However, that shouldn’t deter or preclude you from seeking compensation. Whether you’ve contracted food poisoning as the result of an accident on holiday or even an accident in your workplace, Accident Advice Helpline could help you to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for more information.
Date Published: September 30, 2014
Author: Accident Advice