Canned food poisoning symptoms

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You can get food poisoning by eating canned foods which is also known as botulism. It is most common in canned goods but it is possible to acquire the illness from processed canned products. Botulism is caused by a nerve toxin that is produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The symptoms of botulism food poisoning can be similar to other illnesses but if the individual has eaten contaminated food, it is important to pay close attention to the symptoms that will manifest. Take note that the symptoms  of canned food poisoning can start six hours after consumption of the contaminated food or even 10 days after.

Clostridium botulinum is present all over the world. The bacteria have the capability to form into spores that is highly resistant to chemicals and heat. Take note that the bacteria grow best anaerobically which simply means that it can grow without requiring air. The spores that are activated without the presence of air can produce a toxin which is considered the most deadly.

Mouth and gastrointestinal problems

canned food poisoning
Abdominal pain is one of the symptoms of canned food poisoning.

The symptoms that usually affect the mouth include difficulty swallowing and dry mouth. Since the botulism toxin affects the nerves, muscle weakness can also occur. Take note that this weakness around the mouth can eventually lead to slurred speech. As for the gastrointestinal symptoms, it includes vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain.

Vision problems

When it comes to food poisoning caused by botulism, vision problems are quite common. Blurred vision and double vision are the common symptoms. Even though not directly linked with the vision of the individual, the drooping of eyelids is another symptom of the condition.

Nervous system

All of the symptoms stated such as slurred speech, muscle weakness and difficulty swallowing are all caused by the effect of the botulism toxin on the nervous system. Once botulism will start to affect the nerves, it leads to the weakening of the muscle tone all over the body. This usually starts with the shoulders and then progresses down to the arms, thighs, calves and eventually into the feet. If the muscle weakness is not treated right away and botulism is left untreated, it can lead to paralysis.

How food poisoning is diagnosed?

When diagnosing food poisoning, it is often based on the history as well as the physical examination performed by your doctor. In some cases, additional studies are also performed such as blood or stool exam in order to confirm the diagnosis.

Treating food poisoning

In mild cases of canned food poisoning, the first aid measures typically include rest and intake of adequate fluids in order to prevent dehydration.
In case of blood-streaked diarrhea, severe dehydration, severe diarrhea and other symptoms that are distressing, it is important to consult your doctor immediately or go directly to the emergency department at the nearest hospital so that the appropriate interventions can be provided.

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  • All stmarkjamestraining.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.