CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 250 different foodborne illnesses, but the vast majority of foodborne illnesses are caused by eight pathogens. Read CDC’s most recent table of major foodborne pathogens here.
Foodborne illness symptoms vary, but since the contaminated food enters through the digestive system, common symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and abdominal cramps.
For people in the vulnerable populations (children <15, pregnant women, seniors >65, and individuals with compromised immune systems), foodborne illness can become a life-threatening illness if the foodborne pathogen enters the blood stream during the acute illness. Read more about vulnerable populations here.
For children under 5 and seniors over 65, bloody diarrhea is a serious medical emergency. Seek prompt medical attention for individuals in these age groups if this symptom appears.
For details on common pathogen-food combinations, click here.
For details on specific pathogens, refer to CDC’s A-Z Index for Foodborne Illness here.
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