What To Know About The Causes Of Food Poisoning

By Eva Latch
Updated April 25, 2016
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What To Know About The Causes Of Food PoisoningMost of us have dealt with a bout of food poisoning at one time or another. It is an extremely unpleasant feeling that is accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, and painful stomach cramps along with other unpleasant symptoms. Once we've been through food poisoning, we usually vow to never repeat the experience again so we want to know the causes of food poisoning and how to avoid experiencing those nasty symptoms again.


The main culprit for food poisoning is usually contaminated food. This can happen at any point in the handling of the food. Unsanitary conditions at the point where the food is grown, harvested, processed, stored, shipped, or prepared can bring contamination. While it can happen at any point in the process of transferring the food to your plate, it is more common when eating raw foods. This is because when food is cooked properly, many of the contaminants are often killed off.

There are many bacterial, viral, or parasitic agents that can bring on food poisoning. The illness may not occur immediately after eating. Depending on the offending source the reaction could happen anywhere from within just a few hours to up to a month after you've eaten. By that time, you may have forgotten what foods you've eaten let alone might have been contaminated. So, if you really want to avoid getting food poisoning again, you need to familiarize yourself with the causes of food poisoning.

Bacteria And Viruses

These are more often than not at the source of the most common forms of food poisoning. The symptoms of these can vary widely depending on the type of contaminant you have and how much has been consumed. Bacteria usually grow in food that has not been handled or stored properly or handled in unsanitary conditions.


There are also a host of parasites that can get into your food supply. These feed off of other living things and can be extremely harmful. In the US, common parasites you have to watch out for are protozoa, roundworms, and tapeworms but there are others that can creep into your food as well. These can live in your system for months before symptoms become severe enough for you to seek medical help but the longer they stay the more difficult it can be to recover from their attack on your body.

Molds And Toxins

Occasionally food poisoning can be the result of molds and other toxins that have infiltrated the food supply. Other naturally formed toxins can also enter the food supply and get into the foods that you eat.

Having food poisoning can be very serious. The contaminants can get into your system in all sorts of ways so you need to be constantly on guard against them. While many people suffer from this type of illness the majority of cases can easily be avoided. With a little knowledge and understanding about how to handle, store, and prepare food many of the cases that are now happening can be prevented. So, the more you know about the causes of food poisoning the better your health will be.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.