Q:

What are some of the causes of foodborne illness?

A:

Quick Answer

Harmful bacteria and viruses are the common causes of most foodborne illnesses, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Parasites and chemicals also cause foodborne diseases.

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Full Answer

Bacteria are small organisms that cause gastrointestinal infections, and they usually dwell in raw foods, such as unpasteurized milk products, fish, shellfish, poultry and meat, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. They also typically contaminate foods during food preparation, particularly if food preparers use improperly washed kitchen utensils or if they do not wash hands thoroughly.

Foodborne viruses commonly spread from one person to another when an infected individual prepares and shares food with others, states the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. They are also present in shellfish found in contaminated water and produce supplied with contaminated water.

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