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Pumpkin Food Poisoning Is Rare But Serious

 Posted on October 07, 2019 in Food Poisoning

Pumpkin Food Poisoning Is Rare But SeriousAmericans go wild for pumpkin-flavored products every fall, adding the gourd to a variety of foods. Can you get food poisoning from pumpkins? It is unlikely that adding pumpkin spice to your food will cause food poisoning, but pumpkin products can cause some nasty illnesses in rare situations. Understanding how pumpkins can become poisonous to humans may protect you from a food poisoning incident or help you identify pumpkins as the source of your illness.

Toxic Squash Syndrome

Pumpkins are classified as cucurbits, a family of flowering gourd plants that also include cucumbers, melons, and squash. Cucurbit poisoning, also known as toxic squash syndrome, occurs when a person eats a cucurbit that contains an elevated level of cucurbitacin E. Symptoms of toxic squash poisoning can include:

  • Nausea;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Abdominal pain;
  • Vomiting;
  • Dizziness; and
  • Hair loss, in rare instances.

Cucurbits naturally develop cucurbitacin in order to protect themselves against insects. Wild squash and cucumbers contain higher levels of cucurbitacin than those grown for consumption because they must survive in harsher environments. However, domestically grown cucurbits can develop unsafe levels of cucurbitacin if they are cross-pollinated with wild plants or grown with inadequate water or fertilization. You can identify a poisonous cucurbit by its extremely bitter taste. It is important to spit it out because even a few bites can poison you.

Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a popular treat, whether you roast them yourself after scooping out a pumpkin or purchase them prepared. However, tests have found that pumpkin seeds can contain E. Coli, which may develop if they were handled in an unsanitary manner or were left out to dry for too long.

Pumpkin Soups

It is popular to turn pulp from pumpkins and squashes into thick soup stock, Any soup or stew can become a food poisoning danger if left to sit out for several hours. Once the soup reaches room temperature, bacteria will be able to grow inside the soup. Soup may take longer to cool down than other heated foods but should still not be left out for very long without continuous heating.

Contact an Arlington Heights Food Poisoning Attorney

Unless you are growing your own pumpkins, another party may be liable if you become ill because you ate an unsafe pumpkin product. Food poisoning can cause long-term effects on your health and lost time at work. A Chicago food poisoning lawyer at Newland & Newland, LLP, can advise you on whether you may be able to receive compensation for your illness. To schedule a consultation, call 847-797-8000.


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