Hyderabad: It is not just indigestion or acidity that is caused by bacteria contaminated food. Dr M. Asha Subbalakshmi, head of gastroenterology and hepatology at a private hospital, said, “Cases are received on a daily basis of gastroenteritis due to eating contaminated food from outside. While almost half of the cases can be treated through conservative management, there are also severe cases where the gastroenteritis affects not just the intestines and stomach, but the infection spreading through blood would affect organs like kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver and sometimes even the brain.”
She warned that contaminated food contain not just bacteria but sometimes also parasites that might enter the body and cause cysticercosis, a parasitic infection.
Very worrying is the fact that bacteria such as E. coli, staphylococcus and klebsiella, found by researchers from Gandhi Medical College in pani puri and fruit juices, were becoming highly resistant to antibiotics. This makes treating them difficult and time consuming.
Dr Lakshmi warned against self medication. It should be avoided as the drugs may stop the symptoms but not necessarily the growth of bacteria inside the stomach. This could result in serious complications later.
GHMC food safety officials have to test food samples and take legal action if they are found to be contaminated. Yet they claim that the onus lies on the public to be careful of what it eats. They say they are overburdened because there are just three food inspectors in Hyderabad though 26 positions have been sanctioned.