Synonyms: Foodborne illness
Medical Specialties: Emergency medicine, Family practice, Gastroenterology
Food poisoning is the term used to describe an acute illness caused by ingesting contaminated food. The causative agent in food is usually bacteria, parasites or viruses. Bacteria that commonly cause food poisoning include Escherichia coli and Campylobacter. Food poisoning often causes gastrointestinal symptoms.
Whether we like it or not, we eat bacteria every day, but when certain microorganisms are present in our food, they can continue to grow, infect us, or cause illness due to the toxins they produc. A few of the most commonly responsible bacteria are Salmonella and E. coli. Safe handling of food and proper cooking and storage can reduce the risk of food poisoning.