Parasites are organisms that derive nourishment and protection from other living organisms known as hosts. Many of these organisms can be transmitted by water, soil, or person-to-person contact.
Parasites range in size from tiny, single-celled organisms to worms visible to the naked eye.
In the United States, the most common foodborne parasites are protozoa, roundworms, and tapeworms. The foodborne parasite that causes the most hospitalizations and deaths in this country is Toxoplasma gondii, which causes toxoplasmosis.
Parasitic Diseases (NIH MedlinePlus)
Trusted health information on causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
Parasites: Food (CDC)
General information on parasitic diseases plus a directory of specific diseases.
Parasites and Foodborne Illness (USDA)
Symptoms, risk factors, and prevention information for 6 parasites that cause diseases such as giardiasis, toxoplasmosis, and trichinosis.
Bad Bug Book (FDA)
Basic facts regarding foodborne pathogenic microorganisms and natural toxins, including parasites.
Foodborne Illnesses Table: Parasitic Agents (PDF – 217 KB) (AMA)
Table provides incubation period, symptoms, associated foods, and treatments for 8 parasites that cause foodborne illness.