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Top Food Poisoning Bugs and How To Beat Them
Elaine Magee, MPH, RD posted:
I've been getting some questions lately on the board and from others around me about food poisoning symptoms and timing of symptoms and some clues on which bacteria or bug might be responsible.

So I pulled the following together but wanted to highlight a resource from the FDA so you can get more information on any and all food poisoning bugs in the future!

SALMONELLA--can occur in inadequately cooked foods items and improperly refrigerated foods

abdominal pain or cramping or tenderness, chills, diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting

Possible food sources
(Prevent poisoning by proper hand washing especially when handling eggs and poultry and if you own a reptile, wear gloves when handling the animal or its feces because animals can pass Salmonella to humans.)
-contaminated fruits and vegetables

LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES—this bacterium can grow slowly at refrigerator temperatures.

Fever, chills, headache, stiff neck, backache, and sometimes upset stomach and diarrhea. May take up to 3 weeks to become ill.

Possible food sources
-contaminate[a name="_GoBack"> d hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, fermented or dry sausage, and other deli-style meat and poultry
-soft cheese and unpasteurized milk

TOXOPLASMA GONDII—This is the bacterium that you can accidentally take in when soil contaminated with cat feces gets on your fruits and vegetables.

Flu-like illness appears from 5 to 23 days after eating contaminated food and may last months.

Possible food sources
-fruits and vegetables with traces of soil contaminated with cat feces
-raw or undercooked meat

NOROVIRUSES—this is one of the top 5 bugs responsible for 90% of the cost burden from food poisonining.

Diarrhea is a more common symptom of the norovirus in adults while vomiting is more common in children. Other symptoms include nausea, stomach pain, fever, muscle aches and some headache. Symptoms appear within 1 to 2 days and may last 1 to 2 days

Possible food sources
-shellfish and fecally contaminated foods or water
-ready-to-eat food touched by infected food workers (salads, sandwiches, ice, cookies, fruit)

CAMPYLOBACTER--generally associated with uncooked poultry, meat or shellfish or not following safe meat-handling practices. Well-cooked meat may take care of potential contamination.

fever, headache, muscle pain followed by diarrhea (sometimes bloody), stomach pain and nausea that appears 2 to 5 days after eating and may last 7 days.

Possible food sources
-raw or undercooked meat, poultry, or shellfish
-raw milk
-contaminated water

Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea usually within 30 minutes to 6 hours after eating contaminated food. Symptoms last 1 to 3 days with the young and elderly having more severe symptoms.

Possible food sources
-contaminated milk and cheeses
-salty foods (ham)
-sliced meat
-food made by hand that require no cooking (puddings, sandwiches)
-food workers who carry the bacteria and contaminate food

CLOSTRIDIUM PERFRINGENS--Called the "cafeteria germ" because many outbreaks result from food left for long periods on steam tables or at room temperature.

intense stomach cramps and diarrhea begin 8 to 22 hours after eating and usually lasts 24 hours.

Possible food sources
-meats, meat products and gravy

E.COLI--is one of the bacteria normally present in human and animal intestines and therefore potentially human feces.

Symptoms of one strain of E. coli that causes illness:
Symptoms include severe diarrhea (sometimes bloody), stomach cramps and vomiting and usually no fever. Symptoms appear 1 to 8 days after food is eaten but usually appear about 3 days after swallowing the bacteria.

Possible foods sources
undercooked beef especially ground beef
unpasteurized milk or juice
contaminated raw fruits and vegetables and water
Was this Helpful?
2 of 2 found this helpful
Elaine Magee, MPH, RD responded:
This line got left out:

Salmonella symptoms can arise 6 to 48 hours after eating the offending food.

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