Food Poisoning and Preservation: Meaning of Food Poisoning, Causes of Food Poisoning, Diagnosis of Food Poisoning (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Food Poisoning

Meaning of Food Poisoning

  • It is an illness caused due to the contaminated, spoiled, or toxic foods being consumed.
  • It can also be termed as foodborne illness.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are the most common symptoms of food poisoning.
  • Usually, it takes 1 hour to 28 days for the symptoms to appear depending on the source of the infection.
  • It has been observed that foods when eaten raw causes. Also, when food comes in contact with fecal matter it is likely to become the source of food poisoning.
  • Meat, eggs, and dairy products are frequently contaminated.
  • Most cases of food poisoning last about 1 to 2 days.

Various Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Various Symptoms of Food Poisoning

Causes of Food Poisoning


  • Bacteria namely like E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella cause food poisoning.
  • In US, Salmonella is the biggest cause of food poisoning.
  • Some other bacteria that are lesser known and lethal:
    • Campylobacter
    • C. botulinum (botulism)


  • Toxoplasma is the parasite that causes food poisoning quite often.
  • Parasites can live in one՚s digestive system for years being undetected.
  • Serious side effects may be caused in case of people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women.


  • The norovirus also known as Norwalk virus is the major source of food poisoning caused by virus.
  • It can be fatal as well.
  • Another virus that can be transmitted through food is Hepatitis A virus.
  • Some other virus that causes food poisoning are:
    • Sapovirus
    • Rotavirus
    • Astrovirus


  • A prion is a type of protein that can trigger normal proteins in the brain to fold abnormally.
  • They contaminate brain or spinal cord from infected cows.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the most common form of prion disease that affects humans.

Diagnosis of Food Poisoning

  • Food poisoning may be diagnosed based on the symptoms.
  • Determining food poisoning in severe cases:
    • Blood tests
    • Stool tests
    • Tests on food
    • Urine test

Higher Risk of Getting Food Poisoning

  • Newborns
  • Pregnant women

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