7 Facts About Foodborne Illnesses


Foodborne illness is any illness resulting from the food spoilage of contaminated food, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food, as well as toxins such as poisonous mushrooms and various species of beans that have not been boiled for at least 10 minutes.

In biology/ecology, parasitism is a non-mutual relationship between species, where one species, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host.

A toxin is a poisonous substance produced within living cells or organisms; synthetic toxicants created by artificial processes are thus excluded.

In biology, a pathogen in the oldest and broadest sense is anything that can produce disease; the term came into use in the 1880s.

Foodborne Illness: What Problem? by Florida Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence


Symptoms vary depending on the cause, and are described below in this article.

Foodborne Illness Prevention by Courtney Lovato


A few broad generalizations can be made, e.g.: The incubation period ranges from hours to days, depending on the cause and on how much was consumed.

Incubation period is the time elapsed between exposure to a pathogenic organism, a chemical, or radiation, and when symptoms and signs are first apparent.


The incubation period tends to cause sufferers to not associate the symptoms with the item consumed, and so to cause sufferers to attribute the symptoms to gastroenteritis for example.

A symptom is a departure from normal function or feeling which is noticed by a patient, reflecting the presence of an unusual state, or of a disease.

Gastroenteritis, also known as infectious diarrhea, is inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that involves the stomach and small intestine.


Symptoms often include vomiting, fever, and aches, and may include diarrhea.

Vomiting, also known as emesis and throwing up, among other terms, is the involuntary, forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose.


Bouts of vomiting can be repeated with an extended delay in between, because even if infected food was eliminated from the stomach in the first bout, microbes can pass through the stomach into the intestine via cells lining the intestinal walls and begin to multiply.

The stomach is a muscular, hollow, dilated part of the gastrointestinal tract that functions as an important organ in the digestive system.

A microorganism or microbe is a microscopic organism, which may be single-celled or multicellular.

Gastrointestinal is an adjective meaning of or pertaining to the stomach and intestines.


Some types of microbes stay in the intestine, some produce a toxin that is absorbed into the bloodstream, and some can directly invade deeper body tissues.

Blood is a body fluid in humans and other animals that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells.

Produce is a generalized term for a group of farm-produced crops and goods, including fruits and vegetables – meats, grains, oats, etc. are also sometimes considered produce.

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