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Is food poisoning a food infection or food intoxication?

  • There are a number of ways in which food can make you sick.Chemicals, heavy metals, foreign objects, food-infesting insects,parasites, fungi, viruses and bacteria are all possible causes.
    The greatest, and by far most common risk of becoming ill or dyingfrom food is from contamination with harmful microorganisms,commonly known as germs. The likelihood of becoming seriously illby microorganisms is far greater than that of pesticide risks,environmental contaminants, nutritional imbalances, food additivesand natural toxicants.
    Microorganisms include bacteria, viruses, molds, and parasites. Ofthe many types of microorganisms, bacteria and viruses are themajor source of foodborne illness cases in most of the world.
    Microbial food poisonings or foodborne illnesses mainly fall intoone of two categories. The first is foodinfection, where the microorganism itself growsinside your body and is the source of your symptoms. An example ofhtis is Salmonella. The second type is foodintoxication, where a chemical or natural toxin(often produced as a by-product of bacteria present in the food -known as an exotoxin) causes your symptoms or illness. A bacteriaknown to cause intoxication is Staphylocuccos aureus.
    Most bacterial food poisonings are actually food infections. Thesymptoms of food infection and food intoxication are similar. Bothcan produce food poisoning related symptoms, such as headaches,vomiting, abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, dehydration, and so itis not always clear which you are experiencing. Some dangerousbacteria such as Clostridium botulinum can cause death ifa person is not treated immediately.

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