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By Peter Cerexhe, John Ashton

A client consultant to selecting among foods and drinks thoughts, and the way to prevent occasions the place you'll remorse what you ate.

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Summary • The elderly and pregnant women should be wary of foods like soft cheeses, pate and coleslaw. • Be particulary careful with foods like chicken for children under one year of age because of the heightened susceptibility of this age­group to Salmonella infection. • Raw meats are a special problem for those aged one to four years. • Those with low immunity should boil their drinking water. Page 38 Chapter 4— How Do I Protect Myself, My Family and Friends? Genrally speaking, people who are stressed, over­tired, recovering from illness, as well as the very young and the elderly, are more susceptible to food poisoning and foodborne illness than are healthy people.

Signs and symptoms: Large exposures can produce abdominal pain, swelling due to fluid retention in body tissues (oedema), liver damage, hepatitis; can lead to liver cancer and impaired immune system. Time to sickness after consuming: Several days or even years, depending on dose. Illness lasts: Can be long­term illness. Favourite foods: Peanuts, peanut butter, peanut oil, corn, nuts, figs, cocoa beans. How did it get there? Natural mould on the crop, particularly in drought conditions. Protection strategy: Government testing of crops.

Virus.  Symptoms develop gradually and are usually more severe in adults than children, Time to sickness after consuming: 3–6 weeks. Illness lasts: Up to several months, depending on complications. Favourite foods: Oysters, prawns, molluscs. How did it get there?  It comes from the human intestine, passing by poor food handling or by contact with contaminated water (for example, the sewage­polluted water in which the oysters grew or were held; crop irrigation). Protection strategy: Personal hygiene; avoiding high­risk foods.

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