Causes of food poisoning

Food Toxicology 2(2+0)

Causes of food poisoning

Food poisoning may be caused by a variety of sources including:

    • bacteria
    • viruses
    • chemicals
    • metals
    • Poisonous plants/animals.

Food poisoning commonly occurs when:

    • high risk food is contaminated
    • bacteria multiply in the food
    • Bacteria survive within the food.
  • Bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning. Bacteria can multiply in food and usually a large number of bacteria are required to make people ill.
  • Viruses do not multiply in food but a smaller number are required to cause illness. Airborne infection is common and can spread easily from person to person.
  • Chemical food poisoning is rare and usually results from accidental ingestion of poisonous chemicals.
  • Metals can cause food poisoning; if food becomes contaminated with metals such as lead and mercury and is ingested it can cause illness.
  • Poisonous plants and animals such as Japanese Puffer Fish, fava beans can cause illness when ingested.
Last modified: Wednesday, 22 February 2012, 11:45 AM