As is the case for many countries, Food Poisoning in Morocco is widespread, with the Ministry of Health recording around 1,600 instances each year. Yet, this figure may be an underestimate because many instances never reach hospitals or seek medical attention.
Failure to get treatment might be deadly. The Anti-Poison and Pharmacovigilance Center of Morocco (CAPM) predicted a 15.34 percent death rate in the year 2013. For that reason, think of this article as your guide through to Food Poisoning in Morocco. Find out what causes it and how to avoid it.
Food Poisoning in Morocco: An Overview
Gastroenteritis is an inflammation of the lining of the gut, specifically the stomach and intestines. It is often caused by microorganisms that infect a person and induce symptoms. Viruses, bacteria, and parasites are common examples. Food poisoning occurs when the cause of the infection is food.
If you have food poisoning, you will most likely have gastroenteritis symptoms such as stomach pains, diarrhea, or vomiting, as well as flu-like symptoms. Food poisoning can potentially lead to significant long-term issues such as renal failure. Food poisoning does kill individuals on occasion.
Some wild mushrooms, such as the death cap, are exceedingly toxic. You should not consume wild-harvested mushrooms unless they have been proven to be safe. If you believe you have eaten deadly mushrooms, get emergency medical attention.
Large fish, such as sharks, swordfish, and marlins, may collect significant amounts of mercury. Limit your consumption of these fish, especially if you are a youngster, pregnant, or expecting to become pregnant. Furthermore, a person who consumes the following meals may be more vulnerable: beef, chicken, raw sushi, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, eggs, sprouts, and raw flour.
As a result, while buying, selling, or preparing food, fundamental hygienic measures should be supported, approved, and monitored. Those who prepare food should practice good personal hygiene, such as washing their hands, wearing gloves, and keeping a clean atmosphere.
Improving food security requires multiple layers of management, including policymakers developing and maintaining appropriate food systems, tight surveillance and reporting systems, and national food processing and preparation rules.
Moreover, increasing attention to environmental hygiene, such as clean kitchens, fresh baking oil, personal hygiene resources, and separate rooms for meat and vegetable processing, is paramount.
Causes of Food Poisoning in Morocco
You might be sick with food poisoning and have no idea what caused it or even that you have it. The impact of various bacteria and viruses can vary:
- Salmonella: Most people are aware of the name salmonella, but they may be unaware that there are over 2,000 distinct strains of the bacterium. Salmonella is commonly linked with animal products such as chicken, eggs, and milk, but it may also be found in raw vegetables and even water. Gastro-intestinal and flu-like symptoms can emerge between 8 and 72 hours (often 12 to 36 hours) after consuming infected food and can linger for 2 to 5 days.
- E. coli: E. coli was formerly connected with undercooked ground beef, however the bacterium has lately been found in other areas. E. coli outbreaks have been linked to a wide range of foods, including fresh vegetables, cattle, nuts, water, and cookie dough, to mention a few. Stomach symptoms often start within 3 to 4 days and persist around 1 week.
- Campylobacter: In certain countries, Campylobacter is discovered more frequently than any other cause of gastroenteritis. This bacteria has also been linked to high fever, arthritis, and severe, progressive muscular weakening. Gastric symptoms develop 2 to 5 days after infection and continue for 2 to 10 days.
- Listeria: Listeria outbreaks have been connected to raw, unpasteurized milk and cheese, ice cream, raw or undercooked chicken, and seafood. A listeria infection, like other foodborne infections, can cause diarrhea and fever. Gastroenteritis or flu-like symptoms often occur within three weeks but can take up to 70 days.
- Norovirus or rotavirus: The norovirus is extremely infectious. They are frequently distributed through contaminated food or drink or through contaminated surfaces. Close contact with a person infected with a norovirus can potentially transfer the virus. Severe gastro-intestinal or flu-like symptoms often appear 24 to 48 hours after exposure and persist for 1 to 2 days (norovirus) or up to 6 days (rotavirus) (rotavirus).
Food Poisoning in Morocco occurs if the food you’ve consumed:
- is not adequately prepared or reheated is not properly kept,
- has not been frozen or refrigerated,
- is left out for too long is handled by someone who is unwell or has not washed their hands,
- is consumed beyond its expiration date.
Tips on how to avoid Food Poisoning in Morocco
We hope you don’t, but in case you get Food Poisoning in Morocco, read on for our best recommendations on staying healthy while visiting Morocco for those brave souls to completely avoid getting it:
- Don’t forget to take a small kit with any over-the-counter drugs you might want or need for your vacation to Morocco.
- Stick to bottled water in general. Water is safe to drink in many parts of the nation (it is not polluted), but it does include microorganisms that your body is not used to. Remember to use it when cleaning your teeth as well!
- Avoid eating unclean vegetables and fruits, as well as raw or undercooked meats. A good rule of thumb is to eat where you can watch the meal being prepared, especially if you’re trying street cuisine. Overall, Moroccans do not eat rare or medium rare meat, so you’re unlikely to come across it unless you dine in an international restaurant.
- Stick to grilled meats in front of you and foods, particularly meats, that are blistering hot, including tagines.
- Allow your stomach to settle. When your stomach has calmed and you are hungry again, eat.
- Fluids should be replaced. Fluids should be replaced with water, sports drinks, juice with additional water, or broths. Rehydration fluids should be consumed by children and those at risk of serious disease (Pedialyte, Enfalyte, others). Before feeding newborns rehydration fluids, consult medical help.
- Reintroduce eating slowly. Begin gradually eating bland, low-fat, easy-to-digest meals such soda crackers, bread, gelatin, bananas, and rice. If you feel ill to your stomach again, stop eating.
- You should avoid specific meals and drugs until you feel better. Dairy products, coffee, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or heavily seasoned meals are examples.
- Rest! Rest is necessary to recover from sickness and dehydration.
The four essential components of standard food poisoning prevention recommendations are as follows:
- Cook. Make sure you have enough cooking time at the right temperature to destroy any germs that can cause gastroenteritis. A thermometer is useful for testing cooked meat and ensuring egg yolks are firm.
- Separate. Separate foods, especially raw meat, to reduce cross-contamination.
- Chill. The development of dangerous germs is slowed by chilled storage.
- Clean. Maintain clean utensils and work surfaces, and wash your hands regularly, especially before eating or touching your mouth, as well as after handling raw meat or eggs.
Treatments for Food Poisoning in Morocco
Treatment for Food Poisoning in Morocco (or elsewhere) is determined by the severity of your symptoms and the origin of the sickness. In most circumstances, drug therapy is not required.
The following treatments may be used:
- Replacement of fluid: Fluids and electrolytes keep your body’s fluid balance in check. Minerals such as sodium, potassium, and calcium are examples of electrolytes. It is critical to refill fluids after vomiting or diarrhea to avoid dehydration. Severe dehydration may necessitate hospitalization. Fluids and electrolytes may need to be supplied directly into the bloodstream.
- Antibiotics: If you have a bacterial infection, you may be given an antibiotic. Antibiotics are often prescribed for persons who have serious illnesses or are at high risk of consequences.
- Antiparasitics: Antiparasitics, or drugs that target parasites, are typically recommended for parasitic infections.
When to seek Medical Advice
Most people do not require medical attention for food poisoning since their symptoms are mild and short-lived. People in high-risk categories, such as newborns and the elderly, should consult a doctor as soon as possible to avoid dehydration.
When your child is less than a year old and has the following symptoms of food poisoning, take him or her to the emergency room right away:
- if your child has severe stomach pain and vomiting and is unable to keep fluid down;
- if your child isn’t drinking and has signs of dehydration, such as little or no pee, weight loss, tiredness, and extreme thirst;
- if you are concerned about your child becoming extremely ill.
Seek medical attention as an adult:
- if still have symptoms after 3 days;
- if your symptoms are so severe that you can’t keep any fluids down more than 24 hours after being unwell;
- if you have blood or mucus in your vomit or diarrhea.
If you have a minor case of food poisoning, you can try sucking ice chips, restoring lost fluids and electrolytes (you can get an oral rehydration solution from the pharmacist), and gradually resuming your usual diet and routine. Antibiotics may be useful in treating some bacterial kinds of food poisoning, although they are seldom required.
Traveling to Morocco has many advantages. Getting Food Poisoning in Morocco might be one of its very few disadvantages, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.
Although Moroccan cuisine is among the best in the world, with dishes such as Tajine, Couscous, and Harira that are incredibly delectable, this North African country also has some foods and drinks that should be avoided to stay clear of getting Food Poisoning in Morocco.
In very severe cases, dial 15 or 150 on your phone to get an ambulance. Also, consider seeking medical attention before relying on information you find on the internet. Stay safe out there!
Further reading: Traveler’s Diarrhea in Morocco: How to Avoid & How to Treat