It appears that your browser does not support JavaScript

Signs of Food Poisoning in Adults


Food poisoning affects more than one in six Americans each year.  That’s more than 48 million people, 3,000 of whom will die.  Ingesting food or beverages that are contaminated with bacteria, viruses, toxins, or parasites cause food poisoning. The signs of food poisoning will depend on the source and degree of contamination.  Common food poisoning symptoms include: (“Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the United States”,


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of Appetite

Common Food Poisoning Contaminants

  • Botulism – With an average of 110 botulism cases per year, mostly infants, the incidence of this food poisoning is low, but it is considered a concern due to its high mortality rate if not treated immediately. Caused by the bacteria, Clostridium Botulinum, it can produce toxins when ingested and can also enter the body through wounds.  Even tiny amounts of this toxin can cause severe poisoning the symptoms of which can include paralysis and death. (“Botulism”,
  • Noroviruses– This group of related viruses is the leading cause of gastroenteritis in the US. The CDC estimates that one in 15 Americans will contract the illness each year resulting in more than 800 deaths.  This illness can be passed through food or drink when an infected person prepares food improperly.  Though usually not life threatening in healthy people, the symptoms of noroviruses include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping. (“Prevent the Spread of Norovirus”,
  • Marine Toxins – Collectively known as marine toxins, this type of food poisoning can be caused by several seafood contaminates including bacteria spoilage (scombrotoxic fish poisoning), and toxins (ciguatera poisoning, amnesic shellfish poisoning, neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, paralytic shellfish poisoning ).  Marine toxin food poisoning is not common with an estimated 30 cases being reported per year. (“Disease Listing, Marine Toxins”,
  • Listeriosis –Caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, this type of food poisoning is contracted through contaminated food especially high-risk foods such as unpasteurized (raw) milk and cheese. The bacteria are killed when cooked so it is more likely to occur in readymade foods such as deli meats and hot dogs.  According to the FDA, up to 10% of humans are possible carriers of the bacteria.  Symptoms vary but can include gastrointestinal upsets, muscle aches, and fever. (“BBB – Listeria monocytogenes”,
  • Toxoplasmosis-More than 60 million people in the US carry this parasite, which is the leading cause of death from a foodborne illness in the US.  In healthy people, the immune system is very effective at suppressing this parasite so very few people exhibit symptoms or even know that they are carriers.  When symptoms do occur, they are usually mild and similar to flu-like symptoms.  Once infected, the parasite remains in the body and can become reactivated especially if a person becomes immunocompromised after which the parasite can cause severe consequences. (“Toxoplasmosis”,
  • Campylobacteriosis – This infectious disease affects more than 100,000 Americans every year resulting in more than 100 deaths.  Caused by the bacteria Campylobacter, it is the leading cause of bacterial diarrheal illness in the US.  The bacteria are transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food.  Symptoms can include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and fatigue. (“Campylobacteriosis”, )



[1]”CDC – Estimates of Foodborne Illness in the United States.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. < index.html>

[2]”Botulism – PubMed Health.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <>

[3]”CDC Features – Prevent the Spread of Norovirus.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.

[4]”Disease Listing, Marine Toxins, General Information | CDC Bacterial, Mycotic Diseases.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. marinetoxins_g.htm

[5]”BBB – Listeria monocytogenes.” U S Food and Drug Administration . N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. < FoodborneIllnessFoodbornePathogensNaturalToxins/BadBugBook/ucm070064.htm>

[6] “CDC – Toxoplasmosis.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012.

[7]”Campylobacteriosis .” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Home Page . N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. Pages/default.aspx

Copyright 2009-2018

Sophisticated Media LLC

Terms of Service l Privacy Policy

Contact Us