Can lettuce cause food poisoning?

When an individual consumed contaminated lettuce, it increases his/her for food poisoning. It is vital to wash the lettuce properly before it is used for cooking. Always bear in mind that food poisoning occurs when an individual ate food that has been contaminated by an infectious organism.

If lettuce has been exposed to animal feces during the cultivation process, harvesting or manufacturing, there is a possibility that it might contain virus or bacteria that can trigger food poisoning.

Overview on food poisoning

Once an individual consumed contaminated lettuce, he/she can develop digestive discomfort and symptoms within a few hours or up to 36 hours after ingestion. Initially, the individual might think that he/she has indigestion but as the symptoms manifest, it can become apparent which indicates a serious condition is developing.

Food poisoning

A doctor should be consulted if the individual vomits blood, vomits more than 2 consecutive days, fever higher than 101.5 degrees, severe diarrhea for more than 3 days or blood in the stool.

Always bear in mind that the symptoms can occur abruptly and fiercely. In most cases of food poisoning due to lettuce, they are considered harmless and could not trigger any lasting damage to the body. Remember that food poisoning is considered as a serious condition among infants, elderly and those who have immune system conditions.

What are the possible causes?

An individual can end up with food poisoning after eating lettuce even if it was not contaminated directly. When slicing lettuce using the same knife used in cutting raw meat, there is the risk for cross-contamination with bacteria from the meat.

Lettuce can also become contaminated if it has been handled by hands that were not properly cleansed with water and soap. The utensils, cutting boards and other tools that were not properly cleaned can also contaminate the lettuce. In addition, an individual can get food poisoning from lettuce that is already rotten.

Symptoms of food poisoning

The usual symptoms from food poisoning due to lettuce include the following:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Stomach pain
  • Appetite loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

The symptoms can linger for 1-10 days after consuming the contaminated lettuce. A doctor should be consulted if the individual vomits blood, vomits more than 2 consecutive days, fever higher than 101.5 degrees, severe diarrhea for more than 3 days or blood in the stool.

Prevention

Food poisoning from lettuce can be prevented by proper washing before it is consumed. Allow it to run under cold water to eliminate any excess residue from the lettuce. Do not forget to wash hands using water and soap and utilize utensils that were properly washed and dried.

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