About Foodborne Illnesses

A foodborne illness is any sickness resulting from bacteria or parasites in food, the spoiling of contaminated food product, and the presence of natural or chemical toxins in consumed food. The CDC confirms that each year 48 million illnesses occur from some form of foodborne bacteria.

The FDA says that two-thirds of foodborne illnesses will result in some form of long term illness in the future. Bacterias like E. Coli have strands that are near harmless, but there are also certain types that can lead to anemia or kidney failure which could be fatal. Other less serious, but not un-noteworthy effects are possible urinary tract infections amongst other infections. Salmonella, being one of the very top most common foodborne bacterias, can lead to various forms of serious infections as well as arthritis. According to the CDC, listeria is the third leading cause of food poisoning and food bacterial related deaths in the US. This can cause meningitis and stillbirths, known as listeriosis. Campylobacter is also one of the most common foodborne illnesses, recently topping Salmonella. This could cause Guillain Barre Syndrome.

The USDA’s Economic Research Service says that each year near $6.9 billion is costed towards bacterial pathogens. Costs contribute to medical expenses from bacterial infections, time loss in productivity, and death due to the disease. Infections caused by Salmonella in itself contributes to about $2.65 billion of the $6.9 billion. Infections and illnesses caused by E. coli and Campylobacter make up the rest.

Pathogens remain in constant evolution. That being said, we must always keep up to date with finding new ways to handle problems and gain more control over the spread of bacteria. While bacteria gains strength, it develops tolerance to some prior forms of treatment methods. New ways to eliminate bacteria are always in the works. Another contributor in the spread of pathogens is travel. The growth and shipment of national food a potential risk because one form of bacteria can make its way to a new region. Then not only is it a problem in one place, but several. Environmental conditions can also change the bacteria to evolve to its new surroundings, thereby gaining resistance and ability to survive in new regions. This is another reason why everyone everywhere should be educated on food safety. Having your own at-home knowledge on how to handle and clean food can prevent you from getting sick. Professionals make it their mission to ensure the safety of their product, but taking it one step further at home is always useful and smart.