Food Borne Illnesses
A food borne illness is caused from eating unsafe food. It is caused by
microorganisms and can be mild to fatal. Many of these microorganisms are used
in small amounts of food production.
Food gets contaminated if the amount of harmful bacteria multiplies to
dangerous amounts. If food is left out in the “danger zone” (4-60 degrees C) the
bacteria multiplies extremely rapidly. To prevent food from getting
contaminated, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
Food Safety Symbols
Dangerous foods have symbols that show what type the danger is. There is
corrosive, poisonous, flammable, and explosive dangers. The symbols with the
triangle frame show that the container is dangerous, while the symbols with the
octagon frame show that the contents are dangerous.
Botulism is a rare and sometimes fatal paralytic disease. It is obtainable by
consuming food contaminated with the botulinum toxin. Botulism is preventable
by cooking canned food higher than 121 degrees C.
Salmonella is a rod shaped bacteria that grows in undercooked food. In order to
get salmonella poisoning, large quantities of uncooked food need to be
consumed. Side effects of salmonella poisoning include diarrhea and intestinal
inflammation. To prevent salmonella, be careful when eating raw foods such as
eggs, poultry, minced meat, and other foods.
None of the 40 types of staphylococcus are harmful, but can cause skin problems.
To prevent staphylococcus keep yourself clean. The word staphylococcus means
“grape” in Greek because under a microscope it looks like bunches of grapes.
E. Coli 0157:h7
This illness will cause diarrhea and kidney failure. It is sometimes fatal. To
prevent this, do not cook outside, and make sure to cook only in safe
temperatures. Be careful when consuming food products such as ground beef or
The Norwalk virus is also known as “winter vomiting”, because it is especially
potent in the winter, causing people to vomit. To prevent getting the Norwalk
virus, make sure to wash your hands very well and try not to eat too many foods
such as oysters.
Hepatitis A is spreadable human to human, but can also be obtained from
contaminated food or drinks. Hepatitis A causes the liver to fail, which makes the
pressure of your blood change, resulting in yellow-looking eyes. There is a
vaccine for Hepatitis A in case you get infected.
One of the most common food borne illnesses, it can easily be treated at a
hospital or clinic. To prevent Campylobacter make sure to wash your hands really
well and make sure your food is clean and fully cooked.
Parasites are organisms that grow and lay eggs in the human body. Parasites are
usually fatal but can be treated at hospitals. You can obtain parasites by eating
raw meat or fish.