What Happens When You Eat Spoiled Food?

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According to Medline Plus, eating spoiled foods can cause food poisoning symptoms that include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting and weakness. Foods such as potato salads containing mayonnaise and dairy products that have been out of the refrigerator for an extended period of time can develop bacteria, in turn causing illness after ingestion. Symptoms of food poisoning typically begin within 6 hours of ingestion.

The Mayo Clinic explains that foodborne illness is caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms such as bacteria and parasites are common culprits for contamination and contamination can occur during production or processing of the food. In certain cases, food poisoning can cause serious illness that requires hospitalization.

According to David A. Birdsall MD, emergency room medical director at John Muir Health, food poisoning often occurs in individuals who have ingested food that has spoiled due to improper refrigeration. Common foods include hamburger meat, chicken, egg dishes and pork. It is always a good idea for individuals suffering from foodborne illness symptoms to consult with a health professional, as certain parasitic foodborne illnesses require special treatment. It is also common for food poisoning symptoms to mimic symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease or chronic digestion issues.