What Is Food Poisoning? What Are Its Causes, Symptoms And, Risk Factors?

It is also known as a food-borne illness. It is caused by consuming contaminated food or toxic food. Contaminated food contains infectious organisms like bacteria, viruses, parasites, and their toxins are the most common cause of food-borne illness.

These infectious organisms and their toxins can contaminate food at any point of production or processing. After eating contaminated food, the symptoms for it start showing within hours. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In most cases, food poisoning is mild and can be resolved without treatment whereas some people need to go to the hospital.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning:

The symptoms of food poisoning are:

1. Fever 2. Nausea 3. Vomiting 4. Diarrhea 5. Abdominal pains or cramps.

The symptoms of food poisoning vary with the source of contamination. The sickness caused due to food poisoning generally lasts from a few hours to several days.


Contamination can occur at any moment during the manufacturing process, as previously stated. Growing, harvesting, storing, shipping or preparing. It also happens due to cross-contamination which means, the transfer of harmful organisms from one surface to another. This is especially problematic when it comes to raw, ready-to-eat items like salads and other produce. Because these foods aren't cooked, hazardous organisms aren't killed before consumption, resulting in food illness.


The risk factor depends upon the amount of exposure, your age, and your health. Some of the risk factors are mentioned below:

1. Age: Your immune system becomes weak as you get older and does not respond quickly. As in adults the immune system is strong and could respond to infectious bacteria effectively as compared to older people.

2. Pregnant women: During pregnancy, the risk of food poisoning increases due to change in metabolism and circulation. Food poisoning may be very serious during pregnancy, and it's not uncommon for it to make your child sick as well.

3. Infant or in young children: The immune system hasn’t fully developed.

4. People suffering from chronic disease: People suffering from diabetes, liver disease, or AIDS reaching radiation therapy for cancer reduces the immune system.

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