12 Common Types Of Food Poisoning You Must Know

Here Are important Types Of Food Poisoning are discussed.Being a science student you must know about that.you people also can read my previous article about food poisning.

Salmonella Food Poisoning

Salmonellae are important causes of bacterial food poisoning. Large numbers of viable micro­organisms must be ingested to produce symptoms. The resulting illness can be differentiated from staphylococcal food poisoning because its incu­bation period is longer, symptoms usually begin 8 to 24 hours after ingestion of contaminated food, and chills and high fever are an important part of the clinical syndrome. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe prostration may occur. Sal­monella food poisoning and gastroenteritis are discussed in detail elsewhere in this book.

Clostridium Perfringens Food Poisoning

Clostridium perfringens has been recognized as an important cause of food poisoning in Great Britain and, to a lesser extent, in the United States. Type strains have usually been impli­cated. Reheated meats, which provide an anaer­obic environment and appropriate temperatures for growth, have been implicated in most cases. Symptoms usually begin 8 to 24 hours after the ingestion of contaminated food. Diarrhea and cramping abdominal pain are prominent, but fever, chills, headache, and other signs of infection are inconspicuous. Some nausea may be observed, but vomiting occurs infrequently. Symptoms generally disappear within 8 hours and rarely persist more than 24 hours Treatment should be symptomatic. No specific therapy is indicated.A rare type of Clostridium food poisoning termed enteritidis neurotics has been described following.

You Must Know Types Of Food Poisoning In order To Understand Food Poisoning.

Shigella Food Poisoning

Shigella strains were reported to be responsible for 25 food borne or waterborne outbreaks of shigel­losis in the five year period 1964-1968. The source of infection almost always has been traced to a human carrier, who, through poor personal hygiene, contaminated foods which required ex­tensive handling, such as salads and, in partic­ular, potato salads. Incubation periods may vary from six hours to nine days. The illness resem­bles acute shigellosis described elsewhere in this book.

Enterococcal Food Poisoning

Species of enterococci (Lancefield group D strep­tococci) have been implicated in several food poisoning outbreaks, but a definite etiological rela­tionship to food poisoning has not been estab­lished. Symptoms have generally occurred 8 to 20 hours after ingestion of the food. The illness produced is similar to that observed with Clostrid­ium perfringens food poisoning and is self-limited. No specific therapy is required.

Bacillus Cereus Food Poisoning

Several outbreaks of food poisoning have been attributed to Bacillus Cereus, a spore-forming, gram-positive aerobic bacillus. The incubation period has usually been 12 hours, and the symp­toms observed have included nausea, occasional vomiting, and severe, colicky abdominal pains. Watery diarrhea may be noted. The illness rarely persists longer than 6 to 12 hours and is not accompanied by fever or severe prostration. No specific therapy is indicated.

A variety of micro-organisms have been isolated from foods that have caused symptoms of food poisoning. These include E. coli, paracolon bacilli, Proteus species, and Alcaligenes faecalis. There is no convincing evidence that any of these micro­organisms can in fact produce the clinical syn­drome of food poisoning, and further studies must be performed before they can be accepted as causes of such illness.


Bacteria or their products are responsible for most instances of food poisoning. Two general varieties of bacterial food poisoning are recog­nized: those that are actually intoxications, caused by the ingestion of preformed toxins pro­duced by microorganisms growing in contami­nated foods; and those that are true infections, requiring the ingestion of large numbers of viable bacteria to produce illness.


(Milk Sickness)

Snakeroot (Eupatorium urticoefolium), a plant common in the midwestern United States, con­tains the poisonous alcohol tremetol. When natural food is scarce, cattle may feed on snakeroot and develop an illness called trembles. Human beings become ill after ingesting milk from an animal with trembles. The illness in man is characterized by anorexia, listlessness, weakness, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, constipation, ketosis, acidosis, occasional hypoglycemia, and, finally, coma. Treatment should be aimed at correcting the severe ketoacidosis; large doses of alkali may be required.


Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) contains the stramonium alkaloids, hyoscyamus, scopola­mine and atropine. Poisoning has been reported after ingestion of its seeds, of tea made from its leaves (a folk remedy reportedly effective in asthma), and of tomatoes grafted to a host jimson weed.

Symptoms often begin within several minutes of ingestion and consist of visual hallucinations, disorientation, weakness, blurred vision, thirst, vertigo, and nausea. On examination the oral mucous membranes are dry and the pupils are dilated and slowly reactive. There is no specific therapy, but some of the troublesome symptoms may be controlled by pilocarpine.


The ingestion of certain mussels and clams along the Pacific coast and along the shores of the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia has led to severe illness. Such poisoning has usually been observed between May and October and has been traced to the plankton upon which the shellfish feed during that time of the year, Gonyaulax catanella in the Pacific and Gonyaulax tamarensis in the Atlantic.

Symptoms often begin within ten minutes after eating the shellfish. Initially, tingling and numb­ness about the lips are noted, followed by pares­thesias about the fingertips. The throat is often dry. Staggering, giddiness, and ataxia may appear, and speech is often incoherent. In severe cases respiratory paralysis and death soon follow. No specific therapy is available, but in severe intoxi­cations mechanical respiratory aids and tracheos­tomy may be life-saving. If patients survive the first twelve hours of illness the prognosis for complete recovery is good.



Three varieties of fish poisoning deserve men­tion:

Ciguatera poisoning.

This is one of the most common forms of fish poisoning in Caribbean waters and is caused by fish that in other parts of the world are considered to be excellent food items. Sea bass, grouper, barracuda, and snapper are some of the species involved. The conditions under which ‘these fish become toxic are not known. Symptoms may develop immediately after ingestion or may be

  1. delayed as much as 30 hours. Tingling about the lips, tongue, and throat, nau­sea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and numbness, muscle pain, and generalized pruritus may be noted. The mortality rate is less than 10 per cent; death is caused by respiratory paralysis.

  2. Tetraodon poisoning. This most lethal fish poisoning is produced by ingestion of puffer-like fish found in Far Eastern waters. The flesh of these fish may contain a potent neurotoxin, with both central and peripheral effects. Symptoms usually occur within minutes. Malaise, dizzi­ness, and tingling about the lips and tongue may soon be followed by ataxia, convulsions, respira­tory paralysis, and death. Japanese statistics indicate that the mortality rate is more than 60 per cent. Death usually occurs within six hours; survival for more than 24 hours is a good prog­nostic sign.

  3. If scromboid fish (tuna, skip jack, bonito, and others in the mackerel family) are poorly preserved, a toxic “histamine­like” substance may be produced by the action of bacteria on histidine, a normal component of fish flesh. If this toxin is ingested, an illness characterized by nausea, vomiting, headache, epigastric pain, dysphagia, thirst, pruritus, and urticaria may be produced. Symptoms usually subside within 12 hours.

There is no specific treatment for any form of fish poisoning. Gastric lavage should be insti­tuted if vomiting has not occurred. Mechanical respiratory aids and tracheostomy may be neces­sary. Antihistaminic drugs are sometimes helpful in scromboid poisoning.


A number of chemical agents have been known to contaminate food and produce illness. Antimony and cadmium are still responsible for sporadic outbreaks of food poisoning in the United States.

Antimony is often contained in the binding between the enamel and metal of old, cheap cooking utensils. A few cadmium-lined containers are still in use in the United States. The addition of acid foods or liquids (such as lemonade) to such containers may dissolve sufficient antimony or cadmium to produce acute illness. Symptoms usually begin 15 to 45 minutes after ingestion and are characterized by nausea, vomiting, cramping abdominal pain, and varying degrees of prostration. In mild intoxications recovery is usually prompt, and no specific therapy is necessary.


by Abdullah Sam
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