Foodborne Germs and Illnesses
CDC estimates that each year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.
Causes of Food Poisoning
Top 5 Germs Causing Illness, Hospitalizations, and Deaths From Food Eaten in the United States
- Salmonella can cause salmonellosis and typhoid fever and paratyphoid fever.
- Botulism is most often caused by Clostridium botulinum.
- Some other germs that cause foodborne illness include Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, hepatitis A virus, Shigella, and Yersinia.
- See a complete A-Z index of foodborne illnesses.
Some foodborne germs can be antimicrobial resistant.
- Antimicrobial resistance happens when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. That means the germs are not killed and continue to grow.
- People infected with antimicrobial-resistant germs might have more severe illness and fewer treatment options.
- Although people with a severe infection may need to see a doctor, be prescribed antibiotics, or be hospitalized, people with mild symptoms of food poisoning usually do not need antibiotics to get better.
Anyone can get sick from eating contaminated food. Follow four simple food safety steps—clean, separate, cook, and chill—to lower your chance of food poisoning and to protect yourself and your loved ones.