Food Poisoning in Adults

Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating and drinking food or drink which is contaminated by germs or toxins. Gastroenteritis is a gut infection with diarrhoea, tummy ache and sometimes being sick (vomiting). Diarrhoea is defined as 'loose or watery stools (faeces), usually at least three times in 24 hours'.

What is food poisoning and what causes it?

Food poisoning means getting sick from eating food with poisonous stuff in it. But not usually the kind of poisons used by the killer in an Agatha Christie story. Usually the poison comes from some type of germ.

Many types of germs can cause food poisoning, including bacteria, viruses and parasites. Common culprits include:

You are more likely to pick up food poisoning if you are not careful about how you store and handle food, and about what and where you eat or drink.

Next: Symptoms

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Author:
Dr Mary Harding
Peer Reviewer:
Dr Laurence Knott
Document ID:
12498 (v6)
Last Checked:
02 June 2016
Next Review:
02 June 2019
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