Food poisoning can occur in many ways, and may be isolated instances, or may constitute an epidemic (mass food poisoning). The latter bristles with medico-social implications and neces-sitates prompt reporting to public health authorities who must take effective steps to contain the epidemic. Food borne illnesses are among the commonest health problems encoun-tered world-wide, and are particularly rampant in third world countries such as India, mainly due to a relative lack of sanita-tion and public hygiene.
· Microbes: bacteria, viruses, protozoa
· Chemical additives.
· Clinical picture.
· Stool analysis: Table 33.1 provides general guidelines for collection of stool samples.
· Suspect food/agent analysis.
· Measurement of serum electrolytes.
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