Food poisoning that is acquired by eating canned goods is called botulism. This is quite common in home-canned goods at home but also possible from processed canned goods. Botulism is considered as a detrimental poison that is instigated by a nerve toxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. The symptoms of botulism food poisoning are somewhat similar to other illnesses but if the individual has eaten food that might be contaminated, you have to pay close attention to the possible symptoms. It is important to note that these symptoms can manifest as early as six hours after consumption of the contaminated food or even as late as 10 days after. By registering for first aid training, you can properly manage food poisoning.
Indications of canned food poisoning
The visual problems are the common indications of botulism. The individual can experience blurred or double vision. Even though not directly linked with vision, another symptom that involves the eyes is droopy eyelids.
The symptoms that affect the mouth include dry mouth and swallowing difficulties. Since the botulinum toxin focuses on the nerves, muscle weakness can also occur. The weakness around the mouth can lead to slurred speech. The other symptoms that can manifest include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Nervous system symptoms
The effect of the botulinum toxin on the nervous system includes muscle weakness, difficulty swallowing and slurred speech. Once the toxin affects the nerves, it weakens the muscle tone all over the body. This usually begins with the shoulders and then progresses to the arms, calves, thighs and feet. If the muscle weakness is ignored, it can lead to paralysis.
Diagnosing canned food poisoning
If the individual is suspected with canned food poisoning, the doctor will take the history of the individual and conduct a physical examination. The symptoms of other diseases such as myasthenia gravis or stroke are similar with botulism. This is why special tests are required to rule out these conditions.
The tests usually performed include spinal fluid examination, brain scan, nerve conduction test and tensilon test. Nevertheless, if canned food poisoning is quite evident, samples are usually obtained from the food for an inoculation test. The individual is then treated right away with botulism antiserum.
Treatment for canned food poisoning
If botulism or canned food poisoning is diagnosed as soon as possible, food-borne botulism can be managed using an antitoxin that disrupts the action of the neurotoxin present in the bloodstream. The antitoxin can avert the condition from worsening, but the recovery period usually takes several weeks.
In some cases, the doctor removes any contaminated food that is still present in the gut by inducing vomiting or by using enemas.
In severe cases of botulism, respiratory failure and paralysis can occur. This would require the individual to be placed on a ventilator and should be under intensive medical and nursing care. In a span of several weeks, the paralysis will steadily improve once the axons in the nerves are starting to regenerate.