Food poisoning, also called food-borne illness, is illness caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms — including various bacteria, viruses and parasites — or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning.
Infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point during its processing or production. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked.
Food poisoning symptoms often include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, which can start just hours after eating contaminated food. Most often, food poisoning is mild and resolves without treatment. But some cases are severe, requiring hospitalization.
Jun. 16, 2011
- Foodborne infections. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/foodborne_infections/. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Diagnosis and management of foodborne illnesses: A primer for physicians and other health care professionals. MMWR Recommendations and Reports. 2004;53:1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5304a1.htm. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Bacteria and foodborne illness. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/bacteria/Bacteria_Foodborne.pdf. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Pigott DC. Foodborne illness. Emergency Medical Clinics of North America. 2008;26:475.
- Newell DG, et al. Food-borne diseases — The challenges of 20 years ago still persist while new ones continue to emerge. International Journal of Food Microbiology. 2010;139:S3.
- Listeriosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/disease_listing/listeriosis_gi.html. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Fight BAC. Partnership for Food Safety Education. http://www.fightbac.org/storage/documents/flyers/fightbac_color_brochure.pdf. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Minimum cooking temperatures. FoodSafety.gov. http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html. Accessed April 20, 2011.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.