It appears that more and more people are suffering from foodborne illnesses. Of particular concern is also the fact that there are massive outbreaks and not just in underdeveloped countries. In fact, in 2014 alone, there were quite a few major outbreaks of foodborne illnesses across various states, and they started in common products. For instance, salmonella came from cheese, chicken, nut butters, and bean sprouts. Listeria came from dairy products including cheese, and from caramel apples. E. coli came from beef. In this article, we take a look at the 10 most common foodborne illnesses in adults and children.
1. Food Poisoning
This is actually not a foodborne illness, but rather a collective name for the various forms of illnesses. However, it is generally used as a term to describe any foodborne illness that is not caused by one of the following nine infections.
This is certainly one of the 10 most common foodborne illnesses in adults in children as 15% of botulism attacks are caused by food. Usually, it is caused by people who make the mistake of canning produce at home in an environment that is not completely sterile.
3. Campylobacter infection
This is an infection found in birds, but it does not make them sick. When you eat undercooked chicken, for instance, you may become infected with this bacteria.
4. E. Coli infection
This bacteria lives in the intestines of humans, cattle and various other single-hoof animals. Most types of E. coli are not harmful even to humans but some types can make people sick. It is estimated that around a third of all people with an E. coli infection will be hospitalized.
5. Listeria infection
This is spread through contaminated water. Pregnant woman are twenty times more at risk of getting infected by Listeria.
6. Mad cow disease
This is also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy and it is a neurodegenerative disease in cattle that is fatal. It is caused by prions, which are misfolded proteins. This can be transferred to humans by eating contaminated meat. It then becomes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is a fatal disease that affects the brain. It should be noted that it has a long incubation period and it can lie dormant for several years.
7. Norovirus infection
This disease is characterized by projectile vomiting. The virus is highly contagious and humans acquire it by ingesting contaminated food and water. It is the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the US.
This type of food poisoning is generally caused by eating contaminated food. Contamination may occur during food processing or food handling.
9. Staph food poisoning
This is a very common foodborne illness because it is so hard to detect and protect from. It can occur in any food, including sandwich fillers that were kept in the fridge.
This is a parasitic infection that goes through a continued life cycle, eventually affecting virtually all of the body. Properly cooking meat, particularly pork, and freezing it for 20 days prior to consumption, are the only ways to kill the worms before ingesting them.
The above are the 10 most common foodborne illnesses in adults and children. Food poisoning will not necessarily require medical assistance. You should mainly ensure that you remain hydrated, while your body gets rid of the poisons. However, in the elderly, the infirm, and the young, you should seek emergency medical help straight away.