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Food poisoning, also called food borne illness, is an illness caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms including bacteria, viruses and parasites or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning. Infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point of processing or production. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked.
Food poisoning symptoms vary with the source of contamination.
Most types of food poisoning cause one or more of the following signs and symptoms: Nausea, Vomiting, Watery or Bloody Diarrhea, Abdominal Pain, Cramps and Fever.
Signs and symptoms may start within hours after eating the contaminated food, or they may begin days or even weeks later. Sickness caused by food poisoning generally lasts from a few hours to several days.
Food contamination can happen at any point of production: harvesting, growing, processing, storing, shipping or preparing. The cross-contamination transfer of harmful organisms from one surface to another is often the cause.
To prevent food poisoning at home: