Foodborne Illness

Foodborne illness is caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated with bacteria, viruses, toxins, or parasites. Foodborne illness is one of the most common causes of sickness in the United States, and harmful bacteria are the most common causes of foodborne illness. One in six Americans will become sick from a foodborne illness this year. Although many cases are mild and short-lived, others can make people very sick with lifelong repercussions and can even cause death. Food contamination often occurs when food comes into contact with fecal matter from humans and/or animals. This contamination can happen at any point in the food supply chain—from growing vegetables contaminated with cattle manure to a salad prepared by an infected person who has not washed his ...

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