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The University of Illinois Medical Center campus in Chicago percents your doctor speaks during this series doctors in the colleges of medicine dentistry pharmacy nursing and graduate college at the University of Illinois. Well discuss the latest advances in cancer and heart research. Painless dentistry psychiatry nursing care and modern drugs. All of these and more will be presented on your doctor speaks. Your host for this series is Jack Gray camera coordinator of public service radio and TV programming for the University of Illinois Medical Center campus and champagne Urbana. This is Jeffrey Dahmer bring you another program to do with family members from the University of Illinois Medical Center campus in Chicago. Our guest is Dr. Conrad grist Sr. and dean of the Universe Online College of Pharmacy and associate professor of College of Pharmacy. We're going to talk about
food poisoning. Dr. Christensen interesting interesting topic food poisoning. We are a lot about this. People seem to think the betting on what restaurant they go to they're being poisoned you hear about the we're told mean poisoning Now what does this really mean ptomaine poisoning is really a misnomer since the word doesn't actually mean what people think it does mean. I even know what it means. Well it comes from a Latin name Toma which means corpse and that has not much to do with food poisoning or food. And so the term mix actually is a meaningless and unscientific Ptomaine are actually Putra fact of alkaloid. And these are. What make the food unpleasant and poisoned well if there are enough of these alkaloids in the food to make a person sick or you know from food poisoning that we would consider it the food would
be so. So repulsive and obnoxious that you couldn't even get near it. So really there is no scientific basis for ptomaine poisoning there maybe just small traces in some food begin to putrified but not enough to make it say what would be what would be the best term to use if one is well in large terms had food poisoning ptomaine poisoning what would he have you know at best during poisoning or an upset stomach. Just know how you can or you train Ptomaine to write very erroneous should not be used at all. But most people have an upset stomach. Do they consider this is due to food poisoning. Well most people do. Jack this is a danger but they careful study of many individuals who claim they've had food poisoning it revealed that a large number of other illnesses can cause symptoms that. React very much like a food poisoning and these consist of course Inacio vomiting
diarrhea and cramping but it has been found that these can be caused by other things besides food poisoning and I'll list a few of them just for the record. Coronary heart disease gallbladder DCs passage of renal calculi appendicitis brain tumors intestinal allergies cerebral haemorrhages onset of infectious deceases and emotional upsets and anyone that these symptoms. They think they've got an upset stomach they thought thank the something that is not conducive to their well-being and you go right to a drug store and he said what can I get for an upset stomach. In cases like this they should see their doctor first and it may be dangerous to get something that just they can get off the shelf to take for an upset stomach. When a farmer says recommended they want to see a pharmacist who wants you what would you say to somebody like him. Upset stomach. Actually we train our pharmacists not to diagnose nor to
tell a farm patient what he should take if he comes in and says I've got pain in my stomach. Farms is where you should see a doctor because there have been cases where a man has come in said I ate something like My stomach's upset give me something for it. The pharmacist said well I can't give you anything. And the man's gone outside the store and drop dead. And in a case like this the pharmacist could be held liable if he had given something for this man as he thought he had not that stomach was actually a heart attack or threatened heart attack. So you are still your students are the reason I called you pharmacy to work closely with the physician absolutely right. Absolutely I think this is only a logical thing to do. We ought to mention a couple other things in before we get off this subject and there are some infectious diseases too that might reflect the symptoms of food poisoning. And these are the best Larry and amoebic dysentery which we don't hear so much about now but it's still present particularly in some of the southern areas and then they early stage of trick an osis which we discussed last time
when you didn't feel so good. This has also all the symptoms of early food poisoning. When you are already consider food that would be food buying that's a that's a fire CITIC infection the person can fix right. So all these things could complicate the broad term of food. Poisonous right it could make a very complicated That's correct. Paul is there any historical evidence for food poisoning. Well people from time immemorial have recognized that they became sick after either eating something or drinking pure liquid such as food or water or milk. In biblical times we find several references to food poisoning and one particular in Leviticus eleven thirty nine in which Moses commanded the utilites not to eat the meat of animals affected with wasting disease. A couple other chapters such as 12 and 15 give some of the details on the care of not eating
bad food. Then in both the Old and New Testament it continually talks about that you should not touch something unclean and should wash your hands before eating or partaking of a meal. Now there are of course other historical things that we could go down the line we might mention a few such as Procrit teasin 460 B.C. who wrote about food poisoning. Whoreson 65 B.C. and all wooden 43 B.C. did some writing about food poisoning. The records show that you reproduce for instance 480 B.C. lost his wife a daughter and two sons from eating poisonous food or poisonous fungi that they thought was a good food. And we find even today and we're not. We've made shaky ground in saying this but we have heard that when President Johnson for instance has it partakes of meals on places that they say have people who inspect the food before he eats it. And we know of course that some of the British monarchs and so forth were never
allowed out of uniform and somebody before that was paid to eat it that's right. They wouldn't then in terms of as arsenic in it bigger drop than five 10 minutes you hear all that stuff that's induced food poisoning. We don't I don't think we hear that many reports about food poisoning where we don't hear too many reports Jack mainly because in a lot of cases and perhaps only one individual in families affected maybe a child or one person is sick because of eating contaminated food. And this is not significant because it's not reported but friends if you have a large banquet in a hotel downtown and 30 or 40 people get deal and then you get the point where they start investigating it and then they course then look into what was eaten in the last meal and so forth. But there are cases many cases of food poisoning that are not reported sometimes is due to the fact that perhaps you and I may eat the same food but my RE systems
are greater than yours could fight this off and fight it off yes or likewise. Maybe there is a dish that you don't like. Maybe a fish dish and you don't eat fish and I fish and the fish is danger in life and I get sick and we sing to the table. So and So You say we can't be the food because I ate same time as he did but we really didn't that's right and you think maybe it's something else that made you sick not the food that they will now. There are things that should be considered in this case. If a person becomes sick and they think it's food then if the residue are the food that's leftover we call the leftovers in the common language should be sent in for analysis. But this is not done because Maine many times one person gets sick you don't get sick there may be two three four hours after eating. That's right by that time the food's in the garbage can it's been contaminated with other stuff that may going to become again so it's hard to diagnose That's
correct and so this is one of the cases where you don't find much reporting of food poisoning. Are there any any any particular symptoms of a person who might not mind who. Be a victim of food poisoning either certain or simple. What you just indicated vomiting and not feeling under certain delineated symptoms. Well it all depends and if we have time. Don't know how much time we have left but we get to some of the infections that are that are specific and we'll discuss that a little further than I otherwise thought the first instance is probably a sort of dizzy feeling you become profusely sweating and then you begin vomiting perhaps diarrhea. So far in the course this again complicates the analysis because when you vomit throw up the. They culprit you might say that caused the poisoning and then just what's absorbed that may be in the body that's causing the sickness. But
they're most prevalent indication is a vomiting or dissing this and diarrhea. Maybe a combination of the three then or more would be just one would be probably know for symptoms right now of course that it goes on there are others like cramps and timing and some of the muscle spasms and so on. Now let's get to an area that I'm interested in. And because our listeners are interested in this too. What are some of the sources of food poisoning and you put your fingers what you might consider the sources of food. Well there are. What most people think that meat is the culprit in all cases but generally that is not the only one. The meat and meat dishes of course is subject to refining activity and somatic activity and destructions over much faster than other items are but any food for instant can be costly as
food poisoning. We have mince pie mince meat milk eggs egg products. They should prove vegetables canned fruit vegetables custard cream filled pies in pastry a very hungry they're very dangerous or if they've been in my say with some bacteria as only begin growing they can be very dangerous now and not only that but fleece rats and mice cockroaches are vectors for some of these diseases and they're running around they carry this w e. Well I got pretty well anyway. Then of course there are the accidental food poisoning there where you get pesticides rolled on the sides and stuff there's food in there like a sodium fluoride thing I spray plants and think you saw good people by mistake take so don't be right which can be very easily mistaken for a soda. Baking Soda flour or any of that stuff and they use it in baking and that this is a very potent killing you know they say oh
yes they do take it by mistake and use it in baking I believe that's what it is. Well suppose you would want more labels and that's right and they can buy it and they're going to put on the shelf with the baking powder and use it. You mentioned earlier about use the example about fish now and you can this cause problems too. Oh yes there is no fish for you know it was of course depends on how I'm prepared. Oh no you remember not more than a year to go we had this terrific I'll make botulism as fiction in Michigan and blood botulism is the most severe food poisoning there is and again like if we have time we get in that little further but it's it's claimed that just a very 12th gram for instance of botulism could kill several thousand people and. There's no actually a remedy for that if there were 65 100 percent fatality when you get a good disease it infects the fish and the fish will know it doesn't infect the fish and fish in its own
area. Yet if they show what actually happens is with black botulism botulism is that the clostridium but your line is inane a Rubik bacteria in other words it grows in in the absence of oxygen. So if it's in a Can friends of canned fish and there's nowhere there it grows very readily where you don't get sick from the bacteria itself but you get sick of the toxin that it sea Crete and this is a very potent toxin and knock it out in 10 15 minutes you can get not with it. Could this be you. Could this be alleviated or prevented this something like well the best remedy or the best preventive medicine for botulism is to heat. If you boil it just like in Parker you can. President in the olden days when people did home canning it was very prevalent in canned beans and so forth. And if they can't the mother housewife would
open up a can of beans and they look great needs in smell right. You might pick up and taste one and that was enough to make her sick just tasting on the door. But if she had avoided this tasting and put it in a pan and heated it would have if he wasn't already that sure ain't working amongst you. This toxin is destroyed as far as I have your steak well down that's right. I have all my food well done I'm going to roll that. OK now what. Let's be specific on some of these areas you keep saying we have we have time to talk about this work. On our various types of poisonings. Well again Jack there. There's three major categories that we might discuss briefly one is chemical poisoning and there is in this category we can list such things as animal candy cadmium and I've already talked about sodium floor I am talking of which it is very potent and actually three grams of it can cost that and that's not very much three grams of
sodium fluoride. If you sniff Dyke said before in a cake you sift out more flowered on that. And they said before is mistaken last time for baking powder. Then there are the arsenic and mercury rolls and these are normally not in the food but added by intent perhaps you know what. Home aside the intent they had arsenic which is tasteless odorless and so for the new can. Yeah but that's a minor happening saw Remember this not too long ago when this woman was even given feeding her husband arsenic in the hospital and milkshake because of war. Well then the other one is poisonous plants or animals and among these are the muscle poisoning for instance which causes respiratory paralysis and muscle spasms and paralysis mushroom poisoning which is very rare in this showed up in a 6 to 15 hours. One that we don't hear anymore too much about is Erica To some that's caused by the fungus that grows
on ride for instance and in fact in a song you know are not on the cell phone and then their rhubarb leaves some people think they can eat rhubarb leaves for greens and even think about it well some people do and this causes what's known as oxalate poisoning. Now the major third major one is that a bacteria which we've briefly discussed a little while ago and there are two or three that we ought to mention one is a staff a cock site. We don't recognize the staff as being cost of food poisoning but they're there response for many of the outbreak and the staff of Cox II bacteria you have on your hands you've got in your mouth your nose and it's flying around in the air even. And so if the food is unprotected it may be contaminated the staff. COX I and again like that we didn't mention for this it's a toxin that's poison and not the bacteria themselves it's toxin they see Creek women go on. Is that
reason why that sometimes you hear about the Boy Scouts getting sick at picnics and so forth but if you're going to you it was a pretty good point you know I was always wondering why because the food itself you think would have been all right it was all right it was just because of this very very little time for this bacteria to grow in the right conditions she's doing secrete this toxin enough to cause a poison and if you don't wash your hands for instance you might contaminate food in the preparation you have a salad sitting up for two couple hours of the war not too long ago we were in a restaurant and we saw. The waitress handling soup unwrapping a sandwich and so when sneezing right over there is beautiful. Yes you want to slow you know this helps and if it if you don't get poisoned food itself you feel like you're poisoned I see the way that staff staff already is particularly one that's real dangers in this one. Then we mentioned botulism our cost in line and this.
I mentioned already had a fatality and so forth and the prevalence is not as much not as my first of all inspections and try gardening and so forth so that been a pretty well carried out. Now this salmonella salmonella poisoning is probably the one that's most common now and people right now are having it around here in Chicago. I want to talk about this a little bit. This is actually caused by the organism themselves not the toxin as the other two that we've talked about and the incidence of the deceit of course is the number of organism you ingest. They used to be called a parrot typhoid bacteria back in the days of typhoid fever and so for that we it sort of paralleled typhoid fever only not as severe. But now it's called salmonella. There are some. Symptoms and when you can tell is when they begin first with a headache and a chill
after you've been eating and you start getting itchy and a headache you wonder if you're getting colds or you get me getting on Jack. I think so and then that's followed by an Aussie vomiting abdominal pain and diarrhea. I thought of something like what we can sort of the intestinal flu. Yeah that's probably what most people have when they call for intestinal flu. And then it's this followed by prostration muscular weakness faintness and you get real thirsty like I am right now. Temperature goes up and the person gets sort of fidgety and nervous and you know they don't know what to do with himself and so forth. And this mostly is caused by contaminated meat meat handling and unclean conditions in a butcher shop or in the meat processing plant. They have rats and mice running around on the floor and as I said they can be the actors and the rats and I don't want to map the rats running around the floor in a meat packing blanket thoughts and Carol Lewis took care of those
books. They still do I think three pieces like we hope is not too much but even almost all domestic pets have salmonella infestation in their in their intestinal tract to sort of sort of bacteria even dogs yeah if you get a pet dog you know and you might get this in your family now. Houseflies I mentioned before also implicated in this. There's been several outbreaks where people claim they got some of the salmonella poisoning by a cracked egg yeah I read somewhere that I forget young powdered eggs right except for Potter's part of milk to powdered milk gas any of those can do it. Yeah there was a couple there was a break in well just recently outbreak and that problem with with powdered milk. Now what can the pharmacist do in this particular what what is his role in helping to combat food poisoning. Well of course first first he should
try to talk to these people when they come in and complain that they have an upset stomach. He could ask them if they've eaten something they didn't agree with them and or if there's any other indication that they've been sick and if so then they ought to send him to the physician or we refer them to the station. There is not a great deal more that he can do you can sell anything to prevent you know of course you mentioned some of these pesticides and real downsides of war that should never be a sellers unless they're in a carton that's labeled right and most and think every farms that now does not do this although it is prevalent some of that country. Co-op grain resort where you can be made by a bon sac yet but what used to be true but isn't very prevalent anymore. I've mentioned before we close at one of the things that can be very serious in food borne illness is that of handling dishes. Remember in the old days of the army and so forth the word they didn't wash their dishes correctly and they were greasy.
This would lead to a serious outbreak of food poisoning mainly because of these organisms going to hang the greasy dishes and growing ower the new detergent and hot water this is not too prevalent but we still find where you might go into a restaurant find a greasy spoon or broom with some egg left from the morning breakfast and so forth. I suggest that they go to the restaurant they find that doctor going to end the program. We've been talking about food poisoning and what can be done to probably prevent it. Our guest has been Dr. Conrad who's Assistant Dean Norris on art college pharmacy and also associate professor of zoology also at the university on our College of Pharmacy. You have just heard another in the series your doctor speaks produced by the University of Illinois Medical Center campus in Chicago in cooperation with this station. During this series such topics as cancer and heart research painless dentistry psychiatry nursing
Your doctor speaks II
Food Poisoning
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For series info, see Item 3434. This prog.: Food Poisoning. Dr. Conrad Blomquist.
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Chicago: “Your doctor speaks II; Food Poisoning,” 1968-07-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 21, 2022,
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APA: Your doctor speaks II; Food Poisoning. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from