More food poisoning cases in hot weather

PETALING JAYA, April 30 — The risk of death by food poisoning is higher because of the heatwave, says Association of Malaysian Public Health Physicians deputy president Prof Dr Mohamed Rusli Abdullah

“Scientific studies have shown that germs such as bacteria, parasites or viruses  multiply 10 times faster the moment food is exposed to heat,” he said.

He said food poisoning usually occurred when toxins or chemicals were released after consuming food.

“The causing agents for this condition usually result in septicaemia, which is known as the spread of infection in one’s biological system,” he said.

Dr Rusli said severe infection due to food poisoning would cause the organs to stop functioning normally.

“The organs will cease to function well as an excessive amount of bacteria will cause severe dehydration,” he said.

He said it was easier for the older and younger groups to be affected by the virus.

“The elderly and children are more vulnerable to the infection as their immunity levels are lower than usual,” he said

Dr Rusli said some common principles that needed to be practised every day to prevent food poisoning were usually related to the handling and preparation of food.

“We must consume fresh food at all times or store them in refrigerator or freezer to ensure their freshness,” he said.

Dr Rusli said people should also be cautious as to where they ate during heatwave period.

“You should always opt to dine at clean premises. If the outlet offers raw or uncook food, make sure those dishes are not exposed to possible contamination,” he said.

Dr Rusli said hydration and rest were the two main solutions to overcome food poisoning.

“You can drink oral rehydration mixtures to replace fluids and minerals lost through vomiting and diarrhoea,” he said.

Dr Rusli said food poisoning could be avoided if food safety measures were adhered to. – MMO