What is foodborne illness? You might be more familiar with calling it food poisoning. This is an infection that comes from consuming contaminated food or drinks. There are many pathogens that can cause foodborne illness. Research shows that there are more than 250 types. CDC states that 48 millions of Americans get sick, 120,000 get hospitalized, and over 3,000 die a year with this illness. There are different viruses, bacteria, parasites and toxins that can cause the food to be poisoned. At the Digestive and Liver Center we are here to keep you informed about all of the facts you need to know about this common illness.
Since there are many types of food borne illnesses, the symptoms may vary. The most common symptoms that you can get are:
These symptoms may last 1 to 7 days, depending on which foodborne illness you have and how severe it is. Mostly all people get better on their own, without having to take any medication or go to the doctor. On the other hand, they might be some that can be life threatening, but it’s rare.
Foods That Can Get Contaminated
Any raw agricultural product can get contaminated. There are a couple of foods that mostly can be associated with foodborne illness, for example:
Fruits and vegetables are contaminated because of animal waste in the same facility or due to unclean water used on the products.
Unpasteurized fruit juices if pathogens are in the fruit.
Any food that is in contact with someone that has food poisoning can be contaminated.
There are several foodborne pathogens that can cause the food and beverages to get contaminated, some are more severe than others. These are:
Campylobacter: this is the most common bacteria that causes diarrhea.
Clostridium botulinum: this can be a serious illness caused by toxins that attack the nerves of a person.
Norovirus: this bacteria mostly gives you vomiting symptoms.
Listeria monocytogenes: Usually happens to pregnant women and newborns due to unpasteurized dairy products.
Salmonella: the symptoms usually are stomach cramps and fever, and last over 4 to 7 days. Most people recover without any treatment.
Vibrio vulnificus: disease caused by raw seafood, mostly from shellfish.
Staphylococcus aureus: causes vomiting as soon as the food is digested. Comes from high protein cooked foods that are left in room temperature places.
Toxoplasma gondii: a severe disease that can cause damage to the nervous system.
Shigella: disease that can easily be passed from person to person, mostly because of unclean water.
E. coli O157:H6: this bacteria mostly comes from eating undercooked ground beef.
Since there are many foodborne illnesses out there, it is recommended to see the doctor if you get any of the symptoms previously mentioned. Some may just go away on it’s own, but some might need to be treated mostly in the hospital. Our GI experts in Orlando are here to help. Make your appointment now by calling 407-384-7388.