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Had food cooked over unready coal, may have ingested kerosene. Have burped and tasted BBQ flavor

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Practicing since : 2004
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my husband and I ate burgers cooked over Match Light Charcoal. We don't think the coals were completely ready for cooking and may have ingested some kerosene from the smoke an flames (the burgers tasted slightly off but we didn't place the taste until later). We have not become ill but have burped and taste the BBQ flavor). Should we be concerned?
Posted Mon, 7 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 24 minutes later

Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

In any type of poisoning standard practice is to visit emergency room.

The lethal dose of kerosene for a 70kg adult is 100 ml. From your description it is difficult to predict amount of kerosene inhaled or ingested. But overall amount appears to less.

Following symptom may develop by patient in kerosene poisoning:
•     Breathing difficulty (from inhalation), Throat swelling (may also cause breathing difficulty)
•     Pain, Vision loss (Eyes, ears, nose, and throat)
•     Abdominal pain, Bloody stools, Burns of the esophagus (food pipe), Vomiting, possibly with blood
•     Skin burns and irritation
•     Other cardiac and neurological symptoms

Following information will help you to decide further action:
•     Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.
•     If the chemical is on the skin or in the eyes, flush with lots of water for at least 15 minutes.
•     If the chemical was swallowed, immediately give the person water or milk, unless instructed otherwise by a health care provider. Do NOT give water or milk if the patient is unconscious (has a decreased level of alertness).
•     If the person breathed in the poison, immediately move him or her to fresh air.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had food cooked over unready coal, may have ingested kerosene. Have burped and tasted BBQ flavor 39 minutes later
Thanks for the information. Given that we ate the burgers around 4:00pm, how long should we look out for symptoms?
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 6 minutes later
Hello again,

More than time, total consumption dose is more important as symptoms may develop in minutes to several hours.

In your case main difficulty is knowing amount of ingestion. But follow above measures irrespective of time.

Wish you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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