Video:Foodborne illness

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Foodborne illness is any sickness resulting from contaminated food by pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites,[1] as well as prions, and toxins such as aflatoxins in peanuts, and poisonous mushrooms.[2]

Signs and symptoms

In terms of the presentation of foodborne illness we find the following symptoms, nausea, vomiting, fever and cramps; though this is not an exhaustive list.[3]

Cause 1

Foodborne illness is due to improper handling, preparation, or food storage. Good hygiene practices before, during, and after food preparation can reduce the chances of contracting an illness. There is a consensus in the public health community that regular hand-washing is one of the most effective defenses against the spread of foodborne illness.Viruses, bacteria, and parasites cause most food poisonings.[4][5][6]

Cause 2

Bacteria are a common cause of foodborne illness. The United Kingdom, in 2000, reported the individual bacteria involved as the following: Campylobacter jejuni 77 (point) 3 percent, Salmonella 20 (point) 9 percent, Escherichia coli O157:H7 1 (point) 4 percent, and all others less than 0 (point) 56 percent.[7]

Cause 3

Viral infections make up perhaps one third of cases in developed countries. In the U.S., more than 50 percent of cases are viral, and noroviruses are the most common foodborne illness. They usually have 1 to 3 days incubation period, and are self-limited in otherwise healthy individuals.[8][9]

Cause 4

The term alimentary mycotoxicosis refers to the effect of poisoning by mycotoxins through food consumption. The term mycotoxin is usually reserved for the toxic chemical products produced by fungi that readily colonize crops. Mycotoxins sometimes have adverse effects on human and animal health.[10]


In terms of the diagnosis of foodborne illness we find that a physical exam and a review of the cause of the symptoms being experienced are done, as well as: complete blood count , stool test and sigmoidoscopy.[11][12]


The management of foodborne illness may involved antiemetics, rehydration therapy and occasionally antibiotics.[11]


In terms of worldwide rates, unsafe food causes 600 million foodborne illnesses and 420 thousand deaths yearly. About 30 percent of these foodborne deaths are in children 5 years and younger.[13]


  1. "Foodborne Illness - Frequently Asked Questions". US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  2. Bintsis, T (2017). "Foodborne pathogens". AIMS microbiology. 3 (3): 529–563. doi:10.3934/microbiol.2017.3.529. PMID 31294175. Archived from the original on October 28, 2023. Retrieved April 5, 2024.
  3. "Food Poisoning Symptoms". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 24 October 2023. Archived from the original on March 20, 2024. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  4. "10 Dangerous Food Safety Mistakes". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 24 October 2023. Archived from the original on March 31, 2024. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  5. "NCEZID: Foodborne Disease (Food Poisoning) | What We Do | NCEZID | CDC". 18 December 2019. Archived from the original on October 23, 2023. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  6. "Symptoms & Causes of Food Poisoning - NIDDK". National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Retrieved 5 May 2024.
  7. "Reducing the risk from E. coli 0157 – controlling cross-contamination". Food Standards Agency, United Kingdom. February 2011. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. O’Shea, Helen; Blacklaws, Barbara A.; Collins, Patrick J.; McKillen, John; Fitzgerald, Rose (2019). "Viruses Associated With Foodborne Infections". Reference Module in Life Sciences. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-809633-8.90273-5. Archived from the original on July 6, 2022. Retrieved April 9, 2024.
  9. Bosch, Albert; Gkogka, Elissavet; Le Guyader, Françoise S.; Loisy-Hamon, Fabienne; Lee, Alvin; van Lieshout, Lilou; Marthi, Balkumar; Myrmel, Mette; Sansom, Annette; Schultz, Anna Charlotte; Winkler, Anett; Zuber, Sophie; Phister, Trevor (November 2018). "Foodborne viruses: Detection, risk assessment, and control options in food processing". International Journal of Food Microbiology. 285: 110–128. doi:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2018.06.001. Archived from the original on December 8, 2023. Retrieved April 25, 2024.
  10. Awuchi, CG; Ondari, EN; Ogbonna, CU; Upadhyay, AK; Baran, K; Okpala, COR; Korzeniowska, M; Guiné, RPF (3 June 2021). "Mycotoxins Affecting Animals, Foods, Humans, and Plants: Types, Occurrence, Toxicities, Action Mechanisms, Prevention, and Detoxification Strategies-A Revisit". Foods (Basel, Switzerland). 10 (6). doi:10.3390/foods10061279. PMID 34205122. Retrieved 8 May 2024.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Switaj, Timothy L.; Winter, Kelly J.; Christensen, Scott R. (1 September 2015). "Diagnosis and Management of Foodborne Illness". American Family Physician. pp. 358–365. Archived from the original on August 18, 2022. Retrieved March 31, 2024.
  12. "DIAGNOSTIC TOOLS FOR FOODBORNE ILLNESS". FDA. Archived from the original on March 5, 2021. Retrieved 31 March 2024.
  13. "Estimating the burden of foodborne diseases". Retrieved 9 May 2024.