January 18, 2022

Diabetics at Special Risk for Food Poisoning

Diabetics are among those a special risk for food poisoning. Because November is American Diabetes Month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has put together some food safety information for diabetics.

FDADiabetes can affect various organs and systems of the body causing them not to function properly. This makes them  more susceptible to infection. The immune system, the gastrointestinal tract, and the kidneys are all affected by diabetes.

Diabetes can affect the body’s immune system so that it does not readily recognize harmful bacteria or other pathogens. A delay in immune response can create an increased risk for infection.

Diabetes can damage the cells that create stomach acid and the nerves that aid digestion. Because of this damage, the stomach may hold food or beverages for longer periods of time, allowing harmful bacteria and other pathogens to grow.

Diabetes can also affect the renal system. If kidneys are damaged, they may not function properly holding harmful bacteria, toxins, and other pathogens.

For these reasons, diabetics who contract foodborne illness are more likely to have a lengthier illness, undergo hospitalization, or even die. That’s why special attention must be paid when  handling, preparing, and consuming foods. Clean produce carefully. Use a food thermometer to tell when meat or poultry is cooked. Avoid some high-risk foods such as raw milk, unpasteurized juices, foods that contain raw eggs, sprouts, pates and soft cheeses.


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