What are the causes of Food Poisoning?
Numerous diseases and germs contaminates food and there are many different foodborne infections.
Studies have shown that theres more than 250 foodborne diseases. Mostly are infections thats caused by various viruses, parasites and bacterias. Toxins and chemicals in contaminated foods can be very harmful.
CDC estimates 48 million people becomes ill from foodborne illnesses, with over 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 dies.
5 Most Common Foodborne Germs
Other germs doesn’t cause many illnesses, but sometimes the germs will likely lead to a doctor visit. Which includes:
The most common symptoms of foodborne diseases are nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea.
Symptoms may vary among the different types of foodborne diseases. Symptoms can sometimes be serious and some foodborne illnesses could become life-threatening.
Experiencing symptoms of food poisoning like diarrhea or vomiting, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
Visit your doctor if you have symptoms that are severe. This includes:
- High fever
- Blood in stools
- Frequent vomiting that prevents keeping liquids down
- Signs of dehydration, including a marked decrease in urination, a very dry mouth and throat, or feeling dizzy when standing up.
- Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days
CDC Symptoms and Sources of 10 Foodborne Illness Germs Chart
|Germ and Typical Time for Symptoms to Appear||Typical Signs and Symptoms|
|Campylobacter 2 – 5 days||Diarrhea (often bloody), stomach cramps/pain, fever|
|Clostridium botulinum (Botulism) 18 – 36 hours||Double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech. Difficulty swallowing, breathing and dry mouth. Muscle weakness and paralysis. Symptoms start in the head and move down as severity increases|
|Clostridium perfringens 6 – 24 hours||Diarrhea, stomach cramps. Vomiting and fever are uncommon. Usually begins suddenly and lasts for less than 24 hours|
|Cyclospora 1 week||Watery diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight loss. Stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue.|
|Escherichia coli (E. coli) 3 – 4 days||Severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Around 5-10% of people diagnosed with this infection develop a life-threatening complication.|
|Listeria 1 – 4 weeks||Pregnant women typically experience fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches. Infections during pregnancy can lead to serious illness or even death in newborns. Other people (most often older adults): headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.|
|Norovirus 12 – 48 hours||Diarrhea, nausea/stomach pain, vomiting|
|Salmonella 12 – 72 hours||Diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, vomiting|
|Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) 30 minutes – 6 hours||Nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. Most people also have diarrhea.|
|Vibrio 1 – 4 days||Watery diarrhea, nausea. stomach cramps, vomiting, fever, chills|
There are times the foods we eat for good health are contaminated with germs that cause illnesses and can even be fatal. Food safety is needed to protect people and reduce foodborne illnesses.
Preventing foodborne infections from resistant bacteria can be challenging.
These steps include:
- A 20 seconds hand wash with soap before, during, and after preparing food.
- Thoroughly rinse fruits and vegetables.
- Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separately in fridge.
- Use one cutting board only for raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
Bacteria multiplies very fast if left in room temperature between 40°F and 140°F. Do not leave perishable food out for more than 2 hours (or 1 hour if it’s hotter than 90° F).
Suggested citation: Scallan E, Hoekstra RM, Angulo FJ, Tauxe RV, Widdowson M, Roy SL, et al. Foodborne illness acquired in the United States—major pathogens. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17(1):7-15. https://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1701.p11101External
Suggested citation: Scallan E, Griffin PM, Angulo FJ, Tauxe RV, Hoekstra RM. Foodborne iIllness acquired in the United States—unspecified agents. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17(1):16-22. https://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1701.p21101
Suggested citation: Morris J. How safe is our food?. Emerg Infect Dis. 2011;17(1):126-128. https://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid1701.101821