Stomach flu and food poisoning are different ailments with different causes. However, many people confuse the two because the symptoms are so similar. Most people who get food poisoning attribute their symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain to a sudden case of stomach flu, and vice versa. The disagreeable symptoms discourage you from eating until the problem clears up.
Stomach flu is usually caused by a viral infection in the digestive system, hence the medical name, viral gastroenteritis. To prevent stomach flu, you must avoid contact with the virus, which is not always easy to do.
Food poisoning is caused by bacteria that grow in food that is not handled or stored properly. Bacteria can grow rapidly when certain foods, especially meats, dairy products, and sauces are not handled properly during preparation or are kept at temperatures between 40o and 140 o. The bacteria produce a poison (toxin) that causes an acute inflammation of the intestines.
Suspect food poisoning when symptoms are shared by others who ate the same food or after eating unrefrigerated foods. Symptoms of food poisoning may not begin for 6 to 48 hours.
To prevent food poisoning:
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