Disease Food Knowledge Nutrition

Foodborne Illnesses and their Types

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Do you know about food-borne illnesses?

About six Americans get sick from these types of illnesses according to the (CDC). Illness leads to complications if not managed properly. “Health promotion” consists of safe food and water supply. Investigation of outbreaks caused by foods is very important. The groups of foods have ingredients associated with concerns about the safety of food.  When new methods of producing foods are introduced then many outbreaks take place.

What are different types of common foodborne illnesses?

Let us talk about the illnesses, onsets, and durations.


Symptoms along with signs

Duration and onset

B. cereus

Watery (diarrhea) with vomiting

6-15 hrs. (after taking contaminants) and duration is 24 hours


C. jejuni

Bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramping

(2-5 days) after eating contaminants and duration is 2-10 (days)


Clostridium botulinum

Muscle paralysis, eyelids drop, dryness of mouth, infants are lethargic and constipated, and muscle tone is poor

In foodborne illness, symptoms generally begin 18-36 hours after eating contaminated food and the duration is days/months


Clostridium perferengens

Nausea/vomiting, acute gastroenteritis, and diarrhea

Within 6-24 hrs. after eating the food contaminated with contaminants


Cryptosporidium parvum

Stools (watery), nausea, fever, and cramping

2-10 days (after eating food)


Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)

Diarrhea, fever (low-grade), and malaise

With high dose (infective) diarrhea can be induced within 24 hours


Enterohemorrhagic E.coli (EHEC)

Painful (diarrhea)

Slow onset and duration is 5-10 (days)


Listeria monocytogenes (LM)

Fever (mild), vomiting, sepsis, febrile gastroenteritis, and headache

Onset 2-30 (days)



Gastroenteritis, abdominal cramping, chills, and aches in muscles

After eating contaminated food (24-48 hours), and can be 12 hours in some cases



Diarrhea, and cramping

After eating food (12-72 hours)



Diarrhea, and stomach cramping

After eating contaminated food (12-48 hours)


Staphylococcus aureus

Nausea, retching, and prostration

Hours (1-6), and duration is (1-2) days


Streptococcus pyogenes

Red throat, tonsillitis, headache, vomiting, rhinorrhea, and rash

Days (1-3)


Vibrio vulnificus

Vomit, diarrhea, and mild illness

Gastroenteritis after 16 hours of eating food


Yersinia enterocolitica

Fever, diarrhea, right-sided abdominal pain, and appendicitis

After exposure (1-2) days

What are critical control points?

A strategy that is used to control foodborne illness. “Risk management” consists of evaluation, options assessment and implementation, monitoring, and then the review of the whole process. (HACCP) involves monitoring biological, chemical, and physical agents. It also monitors those critical points where control can be applied. So, it ensures proper food safety education which is necessary for all people involved in serving food to the population.  Adoption of Hazard Analysis Critical Control point (HACCP) regulation, food quality assurance programs, handling of freshly produce guidelines, technologic advances designed to reduce contamination, enhanced food supply regulations, and a greater emphasis on food safety education have contributed to a potential decline in illnesses caused by food.


What is the term “contamination” and is food and water safety important?

Precautions in the region of contaminants are very important. Many public water supplies, built using 20th-century technology, will need to invest more than one hundred and thirty-eight million dollars during the next 20 years for safe drinking water. Seafood is in contact with methyl-mercury. So, pregnant women need precautions in eating these kinds of plates of seafood. The dietetics professionals play an important role in spreading this kind of education. The (CFSAN) provides guidance and monitoring as well. On the other hand, we need to know the importance of food and water safety. We have to reduce pesticides, ensure safe food handling practices, reduce incidents and spreads of diseases with the administration of water, and reduce many environmental pollutants. The following are food and water safety resources:

  1. Agricultural Marketing Services, (USDA)
  2. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Duplicate
  3. The (CFSCAN)
  4. The (CDC)
  5. The (FEMA)
  6. Food Marketing Institute
  7. FoodNet
  8. Foundation for Food Irradiation Education
  9. International Food Information Council
  10. National Broiler Counsel
  11. National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  12. National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
  13. Produce Marketing Association
  14. S. Department of Agriculture
  15. S. Department of Education
  16. S. EPA _ Office of Ground and Drinking Water
  17. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)


What is bioterrorism?

“A deliberate use of microorganisms to induce disease”. The seven foodborne pathogens are introduced by (CDC):

  • Tularemia
  • Brucellosis
  • Clostridium botulinum toxin
  • Clostridium perferengens toxin
  • Salmonella
  • coli
  • Shigella

Current surveillance networks are designed to detect foodborne illnesses. Food serves as a vector (a primary agent). So, rapid communication and analysis of disease are important.


What is meant by a healthy food system?

To serve the population is the main aim of community nutrition as a field. (ADA) in 2014, issued some standards of professional importance. This ensures to sustain this type of application of standards for a prolonged time. The system is built and nourished properly which ensures sustainability. The safety, as well as the quality of the food and water supply, are components that built sustainability.

Dietitian Zoya Faisal is a Gold medalist in Doctor of Nutrition and Sciences (UMT), and did her M.Phil in food and nutrition (UVAS), Pakistan. She can be reached at

Doctor Awais Ibrahim Bajwa (MBBS), Mohiuddin Islamic Medical College, Pakistan, and clinical instructor in University of management and technology, Lahore campus. He can be reached at

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended as sound medical advice for your particular illness; rather, it is meant to increase awareness of common health issues. Before implementing any recommendations made in this article or choosing a treatment plan based on its contents, you should always speak with a qualified healthcare professional.

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