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Common Causes of Food Poisoning

Posted in Food Safety on April 21, 2023

Food poisoning is a common illness that affects millions of people around the world every year. Here are the foods most commonly linked to food poisoning.

Raw or Undercooked Meat and Poultry

Raw or undercooked meat and poultry, such as beef, chicken, and pork, can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter. These bacteria can contaminate the meat and poultry during the slaughtering process or through cross-contamination during preparation or storage. To prevent food poisoning from meat and poultry, they must be cooked thoroughly to kill any bacteria that may be present.

Raw or Undercooked Eggs

Raw or undercooked eggs can cause food poisoning because they may contain the bacterium Salmonella enteritidis. Salmonella enteritidis is commonly found in the intestines of chickens and can contaminate the inside of an egg before it is laid. Consuming raw or undercooked eggs contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis can cause food poisoning. To reduce the risk of food poisoning from eggs, it is recommended to cook eggs thoroughly until the whites and yolks are firm.

Raw Seafood

Raw seafood, such as oysters, clams, and sushi, can be contaminated with Vibrio, a type of bacteria that can cause severe food poisoning symptoms, including diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. To prevent food poisoning from raw seafood, it is important to ensure that it is fresh and has been stored properly and to only consume it from reputable sources.

Unpasteurized Milk and Cheese

Unpasteurized milk and cheese can contain harmful bacteria, such as Listeria and E. coli, which can cause severe food poisoning. When products are pasteurized, it kills off any harmful bacteria by heating milk and milk products to a high temperature for a short period of time to kill any bacteria that may be present.

Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Raw fruits and vegetables are commonly contaminated with harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella because they are often grown in soil that may contain these bacteria. Additionally, fruits and vegetables may come into contact with contaminated water during the growing process, or be handled by workers who have not washed their hands properly.

Once fruits and vegetables are harvested, they may be transported and stored in conditions that allow bacteria to grow and multiply, such as warm temperatures or moist environments. If these contaminated fruits and vegetables are not washed thoroughly before consumption, the harmful bacteria can be transferred to the consumer, potentially causing food poisoning.

Preventing Food Poisoning

There are several steps that you can take to prevent food poisoning:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly before handling food, and make sure that all surfaces and utensils that come into contact with food are clean.
  • Cook food thoroughly, particularly meat and poultry, to kill any bacteria that may be present.
  • Keep raw meat and poultry separate from other foods to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Store food properly, at the correct temperature, and use it within the recommended time frame.
  • Be careful when eating raw or undercooked food, particularly seafood, and eggs.

If you have suffered from a severe case of food poisoning, you may be entitled to recover compensation. A food poisoning attorney can help you determine if you have a claim and navigate the legal process.