Foodborne illness, or food poisoning, is illness due to contaminated or toxic food. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million people suffer from foodborne illness each year in the United States. Approximately 128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 people die from contaminated food. A variety of different contaminants cause foodborne illness. Symptoms of food poisoning also vary. The following causes and symptoms of foodborne illness may help you figure out whether you may be suffering from food poisoning or not, and how to avoid taking risks with your food.
Bacteria is one of the leading causes of food poisoning. If you've ever heard of salmonella, listeria, or E. coli, then you know the potential dangers that bacterial foodborne illness could pose. According to the CDC, one million people are infected each year with Salmonella which results in 19,000 hospitalizations and 380 deaths. Bacterial food poisoning is caused by a person consuming the following problematic foods: animal products which are not fresh or have not been fully cooked; vegetables which have not been properly washed and are contaminated by soil that contains fecal matter; and dairy products which have not been pasteurized, like soft cheese.
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