Foodborne Illness

Case Study: Foodborne Illness

Erin C. is a 27-year-old professional woman who describes a recent bout of “the 24-hour flu” she experienced after eating out with friends over the weekend. She reports feeling an upset stomach at work on Monday with an increase in symptoms that developed into severe abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and some bloody diarrhea, continuing into the evening. She called her doctor the next morning and reported what she had eaten the day before she developed symptoms: 2 glasses of wine, broiled rare steak with mushroom sauce, baked potato with sour cream and butter, and an assorted greens salad with oil and vinegar dressing from the salad bar where she was dining with friends. Earlier on that same day, she had eaten leftovers from her refrigerator—a small pork chop, spinach salad, and a glass of milk from a local organic dairy.

1. Based on information in Table 19-1, which of Erin’s symptoms would cause you to suspect that she had a food-borne illness rather than the flu?

2. What foods that Erin ingested are frequent sources of food-borne illness?

3. Based on the information in this chapter, what questions would help you identify the likely cause of Erin’s food-borne illness?

4. Besides calling her doctor for persistent symptoms, what dietary measures are important for Erin’s recovery?

5. Knowing that she prefers to eat rare-cooked meat, what precautionary advice could you offer Erin in reference to Figure 19-4?

6. Based on this experience, suggest one practical action from each of the four simple rules outlined in the “How To” section on page 628 that may protect Erin from food-borne illness in the future.

Case Study: Food for a Low-Income Family

Sarah is a 30-year-old mother of two young children, ages 3 and 5. Her husband was recently disabled in a car accident and has been unable to work for 6 months. Sarah works part-time in her children’s preschool and her husband receives a monthly check for his disability. Medical expenses have wiped out the family’s savings and monthly expenses often exceed the couple’s income. Sarah tells her close friend that she is unable to provide balanced meals for her family because she often runs out of foods such as milk and fresh produce before payday. Her children receive a healthy lunch and snack at preschool and a couple of times in the past month Sarah and her husband have had to skimp on their meals at home to make sure the children were fed adequately. Sarah is worried that their limited resources may be affecting the nutritional health of her family.

1. Based on this family’s history, how would you classify their food insecurity according to Table 20-1?

2. Using the “How To” ideas on page 663, what are at least 3 practical suggestions that would help Sarah provide nutritious meals to her family at the lowest cost?

3. What programs mentioned in this chapter might this family be eligible for that could help improve their access to nutritious food?

4. Sarah’s church keeps an emergency food pantry for people in their community. List some low-cost non-perishable food suggestions that would provide maximum nutritional benefit to this family.

5. Sarah has recently qualified for the SNAP program. What nutrient-dense foods might she buy that would help stretch her food dollar and improve the overall quality of her family’s diet?

6. Plan a one-day menu with 3 meals and 1 snack for this family that incorporates your ideas from the previous questions.

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