Malaysian expert warns heat wave causes food poisoning deaths

Germs such as bacteria, parasites or viruses multiply 10 times faster the moment food is exposed to heat.

Malaysian authorities have warned that the persisting heat wave in the country has escalated the risk of death by food poisoning.

Mohamed Rusli Abdullah, deputy president of Association of Malaysian Public Health Physicians said when the heat wave increases the risk of food poisoning whertein toxins and chemicals are released in the body.

Severe infection due to food poisoning would cause the organs to stop functioning normally because excessive amount of bacteria will cause severe dehydration, Abdullah told Malaya Mail Online.

"Scientific studies have shown that germs such as bacteria, parasites or viruses multiply 10 times faster the moment food is exposed to heat. The causing agents for food poisoning usually result in septicaemia, which is known as the spread of infection in one's biological system," the medical practitioner said.

He said the older and younger groups are more vulnerable to the infection as their immunity levels are lower than the rest. Hence this virus can affect them easily.

Abdullah mentioned about a few common principles which can be practised in order to avoid food poisoning. All these principles are usually related to handling and preparation of the food. "Food poisoning could be avoided if food safety measures were adhered to", he added.

He advocated consuming fresh food and ensure that the place where people eat is clean enough to have food. During this heat wave period, people should be more cautious and make sure that "if the outlet offers raw or uncooked food, those dishes are not exposed to possible contamination", daily quoted him.

He suggests that in order to avoid dehydration, we should drink oral rehydration mixtures to replace fluids and minerals lost through vomiting and diarrhea.

Hydration and maintaining proper food safety measures are the two primary solutions to overcome food poisoning in this heat wave.