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Food Poisoning–An Overview

What is Food Poisoning?

Food poisoning results when you eat food contaminated with bacteria or other pathogens such as parasites or viruses. Your symptoms may range from upset stomach to diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps and dehydration. Most such infections go undiagnosed and unreported.

But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year about 76 million people in the United States become ill from pathogens in food, and about 5,000 of them die.

Over 55% of such cases are caused by improper cooking and storage of foods, and 24% by poor hygiene, such as not washing your hands while preparing food. Only 3% of cases are from unsafe food sources. Keeping your hands clean while working with food is the single most important thing you can do to prevent food poisoning.

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