Dr. Rodriguez Medina explains that there is a difference between infections caused by toxins and those caused by bacteria. In the first case, symptoms appear immediately, about 3 or 4 hours after consuming the contaminated food, and typically take the form of diarrhea and generally feeling unwell, although these symptoms usually last about 24 hours. In such cases the doctor advises ‘the use of common sense: stop eating, rest and drink liquids’.
On the other hand, in the case of bacterial infection, it may take 3 or 4 days for symptoms to appear: high temperature, diarrhea, feeling unwell, shivering, vomiting and loss of appetite. The doctor explains that ‘in most cases the symptoms will disappear by themselves, without the need for antibiotics’, and the best thing is ‘to drink liquids and a light diet, either soft or liquid’. In the case that liquids are not tolerated, there is a risk of dehydration and the patient should then see a doctor.
Dr. Rodriguez Medina points out that the best-known bacteria is salmonella, but also mentions staphylococci, listeria monocytogenes, campylobacter and E. coli as being among the most common. She also underlines the importance of respecting the chain of cold and recommends being careful with the sell-by or use-by dates of raw foods, particularly of egg and sauces containing egg.