Food and Mushroom Poisoning
Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is illness caused by ingesting contaminated food. The most common causes of food poisoning are infectious organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or their toxins. These 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 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. America’s poison control 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. Each year, poison control centers manage almost 25,000 cases of suspected food poisoning, as well as assisting over 7,000 callers by providing information on food poisoning and food recalls. 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.
Poison control centers are available to provide free, expert, and confidential information and treatment advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round, including holidays. If you have any questions about safe food preparation, or if you or someone you know suspects food poisoning, call the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
Reminders for Mushroom Foraging
Remember, if you have any questions about safe food preparation, or if you or someone you know suspects food poisoning, call the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 to speak to an expert at your local poison control center. You can also get help via the online tool, PoisonHelp.org .