Information relating to the most common forms of food poisoning.
There are 2 types of food illness:
- Food poisoning, which is triggered by eating contaminated foods caused by harmful substances or harmful bacteria.
- Food-borne diseases caused by food or water carrying harmful microorganisms.
Food poisoning is a preventable illness, usually of sudden onset, brought about by eating harmful substances or bacteria living on the food. Symptoms usually start fairly soon after eating the contaminated food and lasts for 24 - 48 hours but can continue for a week or so. The illness is recognised by one or more of the following symptoms; diarrhoea, abdominal pain, vomiting and nausea.
Food Borne Diseases
Many diseases are transferred to humans by microorganisms that are carried by food or water. Campylobacter and Escherichia Coli are common food borne diseases. Only a few microorganisms are needed to give you a food borne disease. The incubation period can vary to a few days, weeks or months with the illness lasting a few days or even for years where it invades the bloodstream causing long-term health problems.
To the left is a list of common food borne illnesses. Click on each one for more information on their symptoms, mode of transmission and preventable methods.
Sprenger, Richard A., "Hygiene for Management" (Highfield Publications, 1995)
Department of Health Working Group, "Management of Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness" (Department of Health 1994)
Page Last Updated: 19/09/2011