Molds, Toxins, & Contaminants
Most food poisoning is caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites rather than toxic substances in the food. But, some cases of food poisoning can be linked to either natural toxins (such as those in some mushrooms and pufferfish) or chemical toxins (such as pesticides or melamine). While some molds are desirable in foods (such as blue cheese), other molds can produce toxins that cause illness.
Bad Bug Book (FDA)
Basic facts regarding foodborne pathogenic microorganisms and natural toxins, including shellfish toxins, aflatoxins, and tetrodotoxin (pufferfish).
Foodborne Illnesses Table: Non-Infectious Agents (PDF – 301 KB) (AMA)
Table provides incubation period, symptoms, associated foods, and treatments for 19 non-infections agents that cause foodborne illness.
Marine Toxins (CDC)
Frequently asked questions on marine toxins, including details on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Low Risk of Illness From Food Containing Melamine (FDA)
Consumer update on the risk of melamine in imported food.
Read About Melamine Contamination of Food (USDA)
News feed features articles on melamine contamination from a variety of sources around the world.
Bisphenol A (BPA)
Bisphenol A (BPA) Information for Parents (HHS)
Questions and answers on BPA, along with recommendations for minimizing infants' exposure.
Update on Bisphenol A (BPA) for Use in Food (FDA)
Includes links to the full January 2010 update.
Since You Asked - Bisphenol A (BPA) (NIH)
Questions and answers about bisphenol A from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Fact Sheet: Bisphenol A (BPA) (CDC)
The basics on how people are exposed, how BPA affects health, and levels of BPA in the population.