Stats & Facts About Food Poisoning

  • More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food!
  • Norovirus is the leading cause of illness and outbreaks from contaminated food in the United States.
  • Salmonella is the second leading cause to food poisoning. There are almost 7,000 serotyped Salmonella isolates.
  • Long-term effects from food poisoning include Kidney disease from E. coli and possible arthritis from Salmonella, among others.
  • Campylobacter infection causes more than a third of Guillain-Barre Syndrome cases.
  • Most people don’t realize they have food poisoning because most do not get sick enough to have the laboratory tests required to confirm an organism caused their illness. For example, for every one case of Salmonella illness confirmed in the laboratory, there are approximately 30 cases of Salmonella illness that were not confirmed.

Other Misconceptions

An Arizona Department of Health Services epidemiologist shed light on why food poisoning is so tricky to diagnose.

  • Most of the time, the last thing you ate isn’t what made you sick.
  • Many foodborne diseases don’t produce the toxins until after they are in your intestines, and once the process begins, it can take days to weeks for levels to increase enough to cause problems.
  • The same pathogen can affect different people differently.