For the general population, food poisoning is usually a short-term infection without any long-term consequences. However, for Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, and Kidney Transplant Recipients, experts suspect that the bacteria which causes food poisoning may also be linked to other serious conditions including Guillain-Barre syndrome (rapid-onset muscle weakness as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system), reactive arthritis (occurs in reaction to an infection by certain bacteria), and even death due to patients' weakened immune systems.
Recently, several food poisoning outbreaks were reported including one linked to the chain restaurant, Chipotle which sickened more than 60 people as a result of Salmonella. Since food-borne illness can be serious—or even fatal—it is important for patients in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community to know which foods they should avoid in order to limit their risk of contamination.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "48 million persons get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from food-borne infection and illness in the United States each year." The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) further noted, "Many of these people are children, older adults, or have weakened immune systems and may not be able to fight infection normally." Hence, Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, and Kidney Transplant patients should remain on heightened alert for food related viruses.
It is important to know that some food choices are riskier than others. A Food Poisoning Expert refuses to eat: Pre-cut and pre-washed produce (the more it is touched the more likely it is to be contaminated), Uncooked sprouts (E. coli and salmonella outbreaks associated with the miniature veggies), red meat cooked medium rare (E. coli and salmonella and other bacterial concerns), and raw oysters (filter feeders that pick up everything that’s in the water).
Moreover, the National Kidney Foundation added that patients should also consider avoiding:
- Raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, fish, and shellfish.
- Prepared spreads (i.e. smoked salmon, seafood type)
- Unpasteurized milk and cheeses
- Unpasteurized juices and cider
- Sliced deli meats, cheeses and deli salads (Tip: heating deli meats can make them safe to eat.)
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Also, Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, and Kidney Transplant patients must be on the lookout for accidental food contamination. Avoid the following: Unwashed hands, unclean cutting boards, shared knife for raw meats and vegetables, counter-top thawing, marinating meats at room temperature, inadequate cooking, tasting food with the stirring spoon while cooking, leftovers/doggie bags left at room temperature, and leaving foods out of the refrigerator for long periods of time.
What tips can you share with others so that they may limit their risk of food poisoning? What kind of foods do you avoid? What cooking techniques do you use? Share your response with the over 34,800 Facebook Friends by liking KidneyBuzz.com on Facebook. Also, join our over 115,000 unique viewers and visit us daily for the latest breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. One viewer, Alaina Christine Davidson, wrote to KidneyBuzz.com, "Keep up the great work!"