Food poisoning occurs when you swallow food or water that has been contaminated with certain types of bacteria, parasites, viruses, or toxins.
Most cases of food poisoning are due to common bacteria such as Staphylococcus or Escherichia coli (E. coli).
Food poisoning more commonly occurs after eating at picnics, school cafeterias, large social functions, or restaurants. One or more people may become sick.
Food poisoning is caused by certain bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins. Types of food poisoning include:
Bacteria may get into your food in different ways:
Food poisoning often occurs from eating or drinking:
Infants and elderly people are at the greatest risk for food poisoning. You are also at higher risk if:
Pregnant and breastfeeding women have to be especially careful to avoid food poisoning.
Sodha SV, Griffin PM, Hughes JM. Foodborne disease. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 99.
Craig SA, Zich DK. Gastroenteritis. In: Marx JA, ed. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2009:chap 92.
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