Does food poisoning increases the risk of IBD?
A recent study done in Denmark by Henrick Nielsen concluded that exposure to two common food born illnesses, salmonella and campylobacter, can increase the risk of developing IBD. With in the 15 years following initial exposure patients had triple the rate of developing IBD when compared with those who did not have exposure to the food born illness at all. Nielsen theorized that reducing these food born illnesses might help to lessen the cases of IBD as well. (1)
Salmonella infection can be caused by ingesting undercooked food, poor hygiene techniques from those who handle your food or even by contamination from the feces of your pets. Chicks, ducklings, small rodents and reptiles can all carry salmonella and you should wash your hand thoroughly after contact with any of those pets. The bacteria is most often found in beef, poultry, milk and eggs but can also be found in fruits or vegetables. Campylobacter is contracted in similar ways from unpasteurized dairy, raw or undercooked meats and through the fecal oral route as well.
The best way to prevent these types of infections are by following proper food safety and hygiene techniques. Clean food surfaces, wash hands between foods and have a separate area for raw meats to avoid cross contamination. Be sure to cook foods to the proper temperature to avoid consuming raw meats or poultry. Avoid consuming unpasteurized dairy products or contaminated water.
Hand washing is also key in preventing contamination that occurs via the fecal-oral route. Washing your hands after using the restroom or playing with any of the pets previously mentioned can help to limit your exposure to these illnesses.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! If you could prevent these food born illnesses as well as potentially limiting your risk for IBD then why wouldn't you?