Food poisoning is a health disorder caused by the use of substandard food. Deliberately poisoning food with foodstuffs for the purpose of poisoning cannot be classified as food intoxication. Among food poisoning are intoxication products poisonous in nature, or poisonous impurities. A large group of food poisoning are toxicoinfections and bacterial intoxications.
Currently, the following classification of food poisoning is adopted in forensic medicine:
I. Food poisoning
1. True food poisoning
A. Products that are always poisonous in nature:
a) of plant origin:
- mushrooms (pale toadstool, amanita, stitches, etc.) ;
- plants (aconite, henbane, hemlock, dope, cicuta, etc.) ;
- poisons of stone fruits and nuts (apricots, peaches, cherries, almonds, etc.);
b) animal origin :
- fish (marinka, Sevan chrome, barbel, etc.);
- warm-blooded animals (endocrine glands of slaughter cattle).
B. Products temporarily becoming poisonous:
a) of plant origin:
- old edible mushrooms;
- melons (watermelons);
b) animal origin:
2. Indirect food poisoning
A. Products containing toxic impurities:
a) of plant origin (heliotrope, gorchak, cockle, gray trichodesma, etc.);
b) chemicals (salts of heavy metals, pesticides, etc.).
Ii. Food toxicoinfections and bacterial intoxications
A. Toxic infections (resulting from eating foods containing pathogenic microbes):
a) caused by specific pathogens (for example, salmonellosis);
b) caused by nonspecific pathogens - conditionally pathogenic bacteria (Proteus, E. coli, etc.).
III. Food mycotoxicosis : health disorders caused by the use of products affected by fungi - alimentary-toxic aleukia, ergotism, etc.
Food poisoning is usually characterized by a relatively short latent period, the simultaneous defeat of a group of people who consumed the same food, and a fairly rapid cessation of the outbreak.
The ingestion of substandard or poisonous foods taken as edible can lead to the development of severe and even fatal poisoning.
In investigating the causes of food poisoning, both the investigation bodies and the state sanitary inspection bodies take part. In case of death from food poisoning, an autopsy of the deceased is required, which is supplemented by a set of laboratory tests: forensic chemical, microscopic, bacteriological, biological, botanical, etc. dishes, in which there was food; flushing out of inventory and equipment on which products were processed; semi-finished products, raw materials and containers in which they were stored. Persons who are directly related to the preparation and distribution of food (bacilli carrier) are also examined; injured (vomit, wash water, blood, urine).
The selection of material for bacteriological examination should be carried out with the strictest sterility. The conclusion about the presence or absence of food poisoning is based on the totality of the investigation materials (examinations, interrogations, forensic documents, etc.) and the results of laboratory tests conducted.