Food poisoning – Symptoms and causes


Food poison, besides called foodborne illness, is illness caused by eating contaminated food. infectious organisms — including 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 of work or production. contaminant can besides occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked .
Food poisoning symptoms, which can start within hours of eating contaminated food, often include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Most frequently, food poison is meek and resolves without treatment. But some people need to go to the hospital.

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Food poisoning symptoms vary with the beginning of contamination. Most types of food poisoning lawsuit one or more of the following signs and symptoms :

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Fever

Signs and symptoms may start within hours after eating the contaminated food, or they may begin days or tied weeks later. Sickness caused by food poisoning broadly lasts from a few hours to several days .

When to see a doctor

If you experience any of the follow signs or symptoms, seek medical attention .

  • Frequent episodes of vomiting and inability to keep liquids down
  • Bloody vomit or stools
  • Diarrhea for more than three days
  • Extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping
  • An oral temperature higher than 100.4 F (38 C)
  • Signs or symptoms of dehydration — excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Neurological symptoms such as blurry vision, muscle weakness and tingling in the arms


contamination of food can happen at any point of production : grow, harvesting, process, storing, shipping or fix. Cross-contamination — the transportation of harmful organisms from one open to another — is frequently the campaign. This is specially troublesome for natural, ready-to-eat foods, such as salads or other produce. Because these foods are n’t cooked, harmful organisms are n’t destroyed before feed and can cause food poisoning .
many bacterial, viral or epenthetic agents cause food poison. The following table shows some of the potential contaminants, when you might start to feel symptoms and coarse ways the organism is spread .

Onset of symptoms
Foods affected and means of transmission

2 to 5 days
Meat and poultry. Contamination occurs during processing if animal feces contact meat surfaces. Other sources include unpasteurized milk and contaminated water.

Clostridium botulinum
12 to 72 hours
Home-canned foods with low acidity, improperly canned commercial foods, smoked or salted fish, potatoes baked in aluminum foil, and other foods kept at warm temperatures for too long.

Clostridium perfringens
8 to 16 hours
Meats, stews and gravies. Commonly spread when serving dishes don’t keep food hot enough or food is chilled too slowly.

Escherichia coli (E. coli)
1 to 8 days
Beef contaminated with feces during slaughter. Spread mainly by undercooked ground beef. Other sources include unpasteurized milk and apple cider, alfalfa sprouts, and contaminated water.

Giardia lamblia
1 to 2 weeks
Raw, ready-to-eat produce and contaminated water. Can be spread by an infected food handler.

Hepatitis A
28 days
Raw, ready-to-eat produce and shellfish from contaminated water. Can be spread by an infected food handler.

9 to 48 hours
Hot dogs, luncheon meats, unpasteurized milk and cheeses, and unwashed raw produce. Can be spread through contaminated soil and water.

Noroviruses (Norwalk-like viruses)
12 to 48 hours
Raw, ready-to-eat produce and shellfish from contaminated water. Can be spread by an infected food handler.

1 to 3 days
Raw, ready-to-eat produce. Can be spread by an infected food handler.

1 to 3 days
Raw or contaminated meat, poultry, milk, or egg yolks. Survives inadequate cooking. Can be spread by knives, cutting surfaces or an infected food handler.

24 to 48 hours
Seafood and raw, ready-to-eat produce. Can be spread by an infected food handler.

Staphylococcus aureus
1 to 6 hours
Meats and prepared salads, cream sauces, and cream-filled pastries. Can be spread by hand contact, coughing and sneezing.

Vibrio vulnificus
1 to 7 days
Raw oysters and raw or undercooked mussels, clams, and whole scallops. Can be spread through contaminated seawater.

Risk factors

Whether you become ill after eating contaminated food depends on the organism, the measure of photograph, your age and your health. bad groups include :

  • Older adults. As you get older, your immune system may not respond as quickly and as effectively to infectious organisms as when you were younger.
  • Pregnant women. During pregnancy, changes in metabolism and circulation may increase the risk of food poisoning. Your reaction may be more severe during pregnancy. Rarely, your baby may get sick, too.
  • Infants and young children. Their immune systems haven’t fully developed.
  • People with chronic disease. Having a chronic condition — such as diabetes, liver disease or AIDS — or receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer reduces your immune response.


The most common dangerous complication of food poison is dehydration — a austere loss of water and essential salts and minerals. If you ‘re a healthy adult and drink adequate to replace fluids you lose from vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration should n’t be a problem .
Infants, older adults and people with suppress immune systems or chronic illnesses may become hard dehydrated when they lose more fluids than they can replace. In that case, they may need to be hospitalized and receive intravenous fluids. In extreme cases, dehydration can be fatal .
Some types of food poison have potentially serious complications for certain people. These include :

  • Listeria infection. Complications of a listeria food poisoning may be most severe for an unborn baby. Early in pregnancy, a listeria infection may lead to miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, a listeria infection may lead to stillbirth, premature birth or a potentially fatal infection in the baby after birth — even if the mother was only mildly ill. Infants who survive a listeria infection may experience long-term neurological damage and delayed development.
  • Escherichia coli (E. coli). Certain E. coli strains can cause a serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome. This syndrome damages the lining of the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys, sometimes leading to kidney failure. Older adults, children younger than 5 and people with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of developing this complication. If you’re in one of these risk categories, see your doctor at the first sign of profuse or bloody diarrhea.


To prevent food poisoning at family :

  • Wash your hands, utensils and food surfaces often. Wash your hands well with warm, soapy water before and after handling or preparing food. Use hot, soapy water to wash utensils, cutting boards and other surfaces you use.
  • Keep raw foods separate from ready-to-eat foods. When shopping, preparing food or storing food, keep raw meat, poultry, fish and shellfish away from other foods. This prevents cross-contamination.
  • Cook foods to a safe temperature. The best way to tell if foods are cooked to a safe temperature is to use a food thermometer. You can kill harmful organisms in most foods by cooking them to the right temperature .
    Cook ground beef to 160 F ( 71.1 C ) ; steaks, roasts and chops, such as lamb, pork barrel and veal, to at least 145 F ( 62.8 C ). Cook chicken and turkey to 165 F ( 73.9 C ). Make indisputable pisces and shellfish are cooked thoroughly.

  • Refrigerate or freeze perishable foods promptly — within two hours of purchasing or preparing them. If the room temperature is above 90 F (32.2 C), refrigerate perishable foods within one hour.
  • Defrost food safely. Don’t thaw food at room temperature. The safest way to thaw food is to defrost it in the refrigerator. If you microwave frozen food using the “defrost” or “50% power” setting, be sure to cook it immediately.
  • Throw it out when in doubt. If you aren’t sure if a food has been prepared, served or stored safely, discard it. Food left at room temperature too long may contain bacteria or toxins that can’t be destroyed by cooking. Don’t taste food that you’re unsure about — just throw it out. Even if it looks and smells fine, it may not be safe to eat.

food poison is specially good and potentially dangerous for unseasoned children, fraught women and their fetuses, older adults, and people with weaken immune systems. These individuals should take excess precautions by avoiding the following foods :

  • Raw or rare meat and poultry
  • Raw or undercooked fish or shellfish, including oysters, clams, mussels and scallops
  • Raw or undercooked eggs or foods that may contain them, such as cookie dough and homemade ice cream
  • Raw sprouts, such as alfalfa, bean, clover and radish sprouts
  • Unpasteurized juices and ciders
  • Unpasteurized milk and milk products
  • Soft cheeses, such as feta, Brie and Camembert; blue-veined cheese; and unpasteurized cheese
  • Refrigerated pates and meat spreads
  • Uncooked hot dogs, luncheon meats and deli meats

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