Foodborne illness| Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention

Every year, approximately 48 million people ( individuals) in the United States become ill from contaminated food (1). Common causes include microorganisms and infections. Less often, it may be caused by a parasitic or harmful chemical, such as an overdose of pesticides. The symptoms of foodborne illness depend on the cause. They can be mild or severe.
Food borne illness
Foodborne illness

What is Foodborne illness?

Foodborne illness could be a preventable general wellbeing challenge that causes an expected 48 million sicknesses and 3,000 deaths annually within the united states. (2)

It is a disease caused by eating contaminated food. Symptoms may begin within minutes to weeks and often present themselves as flu-like symptoms, as a sick person may experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever.

Because the symptoms are often similar to those of the flu, many people may not recognize that the disease is caused by harmful bacteria or other pathogens in the food.

Everyone is at risk of foodborne illness. However,  few people are at a more serious danger of experiencing a more serious illness or even death should they get a foodborne illness.

People at high risk are infants, young children, pregnant women, and their unborn children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems (such as HIV / AIDS, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, and transplant patients).

Only a few get sick after ingesting harmful bacteria (microscopic organisms); Thousands of others may remain side effect free after ingestion.

Foodborne illness Causes

Foodborne illness is caused by the utilization of contaminated foods or drinks. A wide range of disease-causing organisms or pathogens can contaminate foods, so there are various kinds of foodborne diseases.

Most foodborne illnesses are infections caused by different kinds of microbes, infections, and parasites. Various other infections are caused by harmful toxins or synthetic substances (Chemicals) that are contaminated food.

Note that many foodborne pathogens can be obtained through recreational or drinking water, through contact with animals or their environment, or through person-to-person proliferation.

Here is the list of some Commonly identified causing  foodborne infections are                               

Foodborne illness Symptoms

Symptoms of foodborne illness can range from mild to severe and may vary depending on the germ you swallow. The most widely recognized symptoms of foodborne illness are:

Food borne illness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever

When you consume contaminated food or drink, it may take you hours or days to develop symptoms. If your facing symptoms of foodborne illness such as diarrhea or vomiting, drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Food that can cause Foodborne illness

Raw foods of animal origin, especially, raw meat and poultry raw eggs, unfermented milk, and raw shellfish are the foremost probably to be contaminated.

Raw sprouts are particularly related because the conditions under which they germinate are ideal for growing germs.

Fruits and vegetables can also be contaminated with animal waste when compost is used to fertilize produce in the field, or impure water is used to wash the produce.

If the fruit used to make it contains pathogens then unintended fruit juices or cider may also be contaminated.

Any food that has been touched by someone who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or who has recently had such a disease can be contaminated. When these foods are not cooked later (eg, salads, chopped fruits) they can give a disease to other people.

Foodborne illness Prevention

Foodborne sickness is normal, costly, and preventable. You can get food poisoning after swallowing food contaminated with various types of germs or toxins.

Food borne illness

These are some steps which you can follow to prevent or avoid the foodborne illness:
  • Do not prepare or handle food if you feel ill, vomiting, or are experiencing diarrhea.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water
  • After preparing each food item, wash knives, cooking utensils and cutting boards in hot soapy water. This includes meat grinders and mixtures. If clothes are used instead of paper towels, wash them in a circle of hot water.
  • If raw skin or skin is not going to eat, then add raw water to the water. For some, it may be necessary to use a small brush to remove surface dirt.
  • Refrigerate all perishable food as soon as possible after purchase. If the ride home is more than 60 minutes in hot/hot weather, store the cold materials in an insulated cold storage container.
  • Refrigerate all leftovers to 40 degrees F or less within 4 hours after cooking. The use of small, shallow containers helps in this rapid cooling.
  • Keep uncooked meats and chickens in a sealed plastic bag before storing them in the refrigerator to avoid spilling juice on other foods.
  • Use a cooking thermometer. Turkey and stuffing should be cooked well past 165 degrees F. The most secure practice are to cook the stuffing independently in a meal dish.
  • If uncooked eggs are part of a recipe, use pasteurized egg products instead of shell eggs.
  • Do not take food at room temperature. Plan ahead enough so that there is enough time.

Foodborne illness outbreak

General wellbeing authorities examine outbreaks to control them, so more people do not get sick in outbreaks, and to know how to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.

List of selected multilevel foodborne outbreak investigation:


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