Food and Mushroom Poisoning & Recalls
30,996 cases managed*
Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is illness caused by ingesting contaminated food. Infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or their toxins are the most common causes of food poisoning. Infectious organisms or their toxins can contaminate food at any point of processing or production. Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked. The most common symptoms of food poisoning include upset stomach, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and dehydration. Symptoms may range from mild to severe and may differ depending on the causative agent. Severe cases of food poisoning can cause long-term health problems or death. 1
The CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. 2 America’s poison centers play an important role in helping to prevent food poisoning by promoting safe food preparation and storage strategies, as well as assisting callers who suspect they are at risk of developing foodborne illness or are exhibiting symptoms of food poisoning. Between 2014 and 2015, poison centers managed almost 60,000 such exposure cases*, as well as assisting over 30,000 callers by providing information on food poisoning and food recalls.
*The term "exposure" means someone has had contact with the substance in some way; for example, ingested, inhaled, absorbed by the skin or eyes, etc. Not all exposures are poisonings or overdoses. Exposure case definition includes food- and mushroom-borne illness, suspected illness, and consumption of recalled food products reported to poison centers.