One of the reasons why food safety and good food hygiene are so important in food preparation, both at home and commercially is because of the risk that contaminated food presents to certain vulnerable members of the population, in particular the elderly, the sick, pregnant women, children and babies.
Although anyone can become sick if they eat food contaminated by foodborne bacteria, these sectors of the population at a greater risk of getting sick and of dying from these sicknesses because of their compromised immune systems.
A case in point is the incident that occurred in Minnesota recently when 2 young children (both under the age of 1) fell ill in a Salmonella outbreak linked to a brand of tahini sesame paste. Luckily the 2 children survived the outbreak and are recovering at home.
Read what happened according to a post on FoodSafetyNews.com.au:
Two Minnesota children under the age of 1 are reported ill in a Salmonella outbreak linked to nationally recalled Krinos brand tahini sesame paste, according to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).
The illnesses have been associated with a small cluster of Salmonella Mbandaka illnesses in other states, MDH spokesman Doug Schultz told Food Safety News. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now investigating illnesses potentially connected to the outbreak, said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.
Schultz said he did not believe the children were related to each other. Neither child was hospitalized and they are both recovering.
The tahini, distributed to retailers nationwide, has been voluntarily recalled since April 28 for contamination of Salmonella Montevideo and Mbandaka. Following an expansion on May 9, the recall now includes tahini products with expiration dates ranging from Jan. 1, 2014 to March 15, 2015.
The Characteristics of Food Poisoning in Children
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps are all common symptoms of food poisoning in children and adults, however the severity of the food poisoning can be dependent upon a child’s age, general health, and particular strand of food poisoning contracted. Food poisoning symptoms in children may appear more violently than it does in adults.
Several types of germs may cause food poisoning which may be particularly dangerous to children:
- Campylobacter enteritis
- E. coli enteritis
- Fish poisoning
- Staphylococcus aureus
Children will usually recover from the illness within a couple of days however it is important to keep them hydrated. Ensure they drink lots of water and get plenty of rest.
Young children in particular may have diarrhoea which doesn’t allow them to keep in any fluids, in their case it may be necessary to be admitted into hospital to have fluids given to them through a vein.
Experts advise not giving children over the counter medicines to slow down diarrhoea or vomiting because this may actually cause the bacteria to remain in the body for longer. If their vomiting and diarrhoea is extreme, visit a doctor for professional advice.