What is Food Poisoning?

If you’ve ever wondered, “What is food poisoning?”, you’re not alone. Almost half the population suffers from food poisoning at one time or another. Fortunately, the good news is that most cases don’t require hospitalisation. In most cases, treatment for food poisoning is self-explanatory, and you can recover from it in as little as three to five days. The good news is that food poisoning is also highly preventable.

There are 250 different types of foodborne illnesses, resulting in various infections. The bacterium causing foodborne diseases is often present in raw meat or in poorly cooked food. Many types of food contaminated with these diseases are not harmful to humans, but some of them may. These infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Infections from raw meats, seafood, and vegetables can cause gastroenteritis, nausea, and diarrhea. Most of the time, the symptoms begin within two to ten hours, though some may take up to seven days.

Food contamination can happen during all stages of the food production process, from growing and processing to storage and preparation. Unwashed fruits and vegetables can also be contaminated. Water from a farm or a factory can be contaminated with human or animal feces. Bacteria may also be present in water. Most food poisoning outbreaks are caused by Salmonella. These bacteria are responsible for causing about 50 percent of cases of food poisoning in the U.S.

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