Food poisoning (also known as foodborne illness or foodborne disease) is any illness that results from eating contaminated food.
Harmful bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning, but there are many other causes, including the following:
One in six Americans will get sick from food poisoning this year. Most of them will recover without any lasting effects from their illness. For some, however, the effects can be devastating and even deadly.
Serious long-term effects associated with several common types of food poisoning include:
- Kidney failure
- Chronic arthritis
- Brain and nerve damage
Who's at Risk
Certain groups of people are more susceptible to foodborne illness. This means that they are more likely to get sick from contaminated food and, if they do get sick, the effects are much more serious. These groups include:
How Government Responds
Find out how your local, state, and federal government agencies detect, investigate, and control food illness outbreaks. Learn more >