Foodborne Illness

Also called: Food Poisoning

Each year, 48 million people in the U.S. get sick from contaminated food. Common culprits include bacteria, parasites and viruses. Symptoms range from mild to serious. They include

  • Upset stomach
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Dehydration

Harmful bacteria are the most common cause of foodborne illness. Foods may have some bacteria on them when you buy them. Raw meat may become contaminated during slaughter. Fruits and vegetables may become contaminated when they are growing or when they are processed. But it can also happen in your kitchen if you leave food out for more than 2 hours at room temperature. Handling food safely can help prevent foodborne illnesses.

The treatment in most cases is increasing your fluid intake. For more serious illness, you may need treatment at a hospital.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Foodborne Illness

The following features are indicative of Foodborne Illness:
  • upset stomach
  • abdominal cramps
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • dehydration
It is possible that Foodborne Illness shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Foodborne Illness

The following are the most common causes of Foodborne Illness:
  • bacterial infected food
  • parasites infected food
  • viruses infected food
  • raw meat
  • contaminated fruits and vegetables

Risk Factors for Foodborne Illness

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Foodborne Illness:
  • elderly persons
  • immunocompromised individuals
  • pregnant women
  • individuals with underlying illnesses

Prevention of Foodborne Illness

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Foodborne Illness. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid ingestion of raw meat and poultry products
  • avoiding contact with cat litter
  • wash the hands properly

Occurrence of Foodborne Illness

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Foodborne Illness cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Foodborne Illness can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Foodborne Illness can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Foodborne Illness

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Foodborne Illness:
  • Stool test: To test the presence of bacteria, virus and parasite
  • Sample of vomit is tested

Doctor for Diagnosis of Foodborne Illness

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Foodborne Illness:
  • General Physician

Complications of Foodborne Illness if untreated

Yes, Foodborne Illness causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Foodborne Illness is left untreated:
  • severe dehydration
  • organ damage

Procedures for Treatment of Foodborne Illness

The following procedures are used to treat Foodborne Illness:
  • Replacement of lost fluids: Transfer of salts and fluids through a vein (intravenously), to prevent dehydration

Self-care for Foodborne Illness

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Foodborne Illness:
  • Drink plenty of water: Drink water to avoid dehydration
  • Avoid raw Food: Don't eat raw food to avoid infections

Time for Treatment of Foodborne Illness

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Foodborne Illness to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Within 1 week

Is Foodborne Illness Infectious?

Yes, Foodborne Illness is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • contact with infected persons

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Foodborne Illness.
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Salmonella Infections

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