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Food Contamination and Poisoning

Food Contamination and Poisoning

Also called: Foodborne illness

Each year, 76 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

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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.

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