Doyle, Michael P. Center for Food Safety, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia.
Last reviewed:March 2019
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- Salmonella species
- Campylobacter species
- Attribution of foodborne illnesses
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Any pathological condition transmitted by contaminated food. Foodborne diseases and illnesses, which are instances of food poisoning, have a significant impact on public health. They occur when foods contaminated by pathogenic microorganisms (Fig. 1), toxins, or chemicals are ingested, infecting or irritating the gastrointestinal tract. In general, most people do not think about foodborne pathogens or food safety until an illness or disease spread by food or drink affects them, a family member, or a friend. Although much of the food supply in the industrialized world is acknowledged to be safe, millions of people still get sick. Numerous affected individuals require hospitalization and many die. In fact, in the United States alone, approximately 3000 individuals die each year from foodborne diseases. Therefore, the prevention of foodborne disease and illness remains a major public health challenge. In addition, the shipment of foods around the globe and the potential for inadequate monitoring of them are major causes of concern. See also: Disease; Food; Food microbiology; Food poisoning; Food science; Gastrointestinal tract disorders; Infectious disease; Meat food safety; Microbiology; Pathogen; Toxin; Water-borne disease
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