Bacteria, such as E. coli, Shigella, Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella; viruses, such as hepatitis A and norovirus; and parasites, such as Giardia intestinalis and Cryptosporidium parvum are causes of foodborne illnesses, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Harmful chemicals and parasites are also possible causes.Continue Reading
E. coli is typically present in fresh produce, unpasteurized fruit juices or milk, and raw meat, while Shigella comes from the stools of infected people and tends to contaminate food when infected individuals prepare food without washing hands thoroughly, explains the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Unpasteurized milk and raw or undercooked chicken may contain Campylobacter jejuni. Salmonella usually contaminates seafood, dairy products, poultry and raw meat.
Contamination may occur while growing, harvesting, slaughtering or processing foods, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Harmful bacteria can also contaminate foods during storage or shipment. 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. Viruses tend to contaminate foods when infected people prepare food. Healthy individuals can also contract foodborne viruses from eating shellfish from contaminated water or produce grown with contaminated water.
Parasites are present in contaminated water mixed with the stools of infected people or animals, reports the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Foods become contaminated with the parasites through contact with the contaminated water.Learn more about Conditions & Diseases