Bacterial gastroenteritis, commonly referred to as food poisoning, occurs when we consume contaminated food or water. Food or water is the vehicle for transmission of the condition, but it’s bacteria that are responsible for the symptoms associated with gastroenteritis.
Gastroenteritis displays a range of symptoms affecting the digestive system, including abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Cases of gastroenteritis vary in their intensity of symptoms. One person may experience mild symptoms and be fine in a few hours, while another may develop severe symptoms that last for days.
Various strains of bacteria are responsible for gastroenteritis infection, and the type determines your symptoms. It’s vital that people infected with gastroenteritis take time to rest in bed, and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Our behavior, external environment, and what we eat and drink all play a significant role in the development of the infection. Here are eight causes of bacterial gastroenteritis.
1. Consuming Contaminated Food and Water
The most common cause of gastroenteritis is consuming meals and drink contaminated with bacteria. Most of the population doesn’t grow their food; they rely on farms and supermarkets to get the food from the source to the dinner table.
The chain of custody attached to the manufacture and distribution of food and beverages means that hundreds of hands touch the products you eat before you come in contact with it at the grocery store. If someone in the logistics process has a bacterial infection, such as norovirus, the chances are they will transfer it to the food they handle, where it finds its way to your dinner plate.
Millions of Americans eat out every day, and some people rely on fast food or restaurants for all the meals they consume during the day. If the chef, busboy, or person behind the order counter has a bacterial infection, they may pass it onto your food, resulting in you receiving your meal – and a bout of gastroenteritis.