Foodborne Illness

|
4
Foodborne Illness

You don't want to eat meat that's crawling with these little E. coli buggers.

G. Wanner/Getty Images

Eating the wrong thing in a survival scenario can render an outdoor expert in great physical condition powerless and weak. Eating meat that's tainted or undercooked can leave you with any number of diseases, including E. coli or salmonella. You can also get sick eating an insect or a poisonous plant in a survival scenario. All of the above will most likely leave you with some or all of the following:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal cramps
  • fever

The bad news is that these symptoms will also speed up your rate of starvation and dehydration. You can avoid foodborne illnesses by cooking any meats until they're well done. If there's any doubt, cook it some more. Never eat anything that you haven't caught yourself or if it's already dead when you first find it. Even the freshest road kill is most likely riddled with harmful bacteria.

If you need to resort to eating insects and plants, avoid anything that's brightly colored, extremely pungent or has thorns or spikes -- nature's way of saying "avoid me." If you have to eat insects, pull off the legs, arms and head and cook the body by boiling or roasting it. Plants can be checked using the universal edibility test -- rub the plant on your wrist and place a small piece in your mouth without swallowing it to see if you have a reaction. If it tastes extremely bitter or of there are any signs of a rash or swelling, don't eat it.

|