Food Poisoning Bacteria

Listeria bacteria can contaminate fresh produce, like cantaloupes, as well as some processed foods, like cheeses. Symptoms of infection include fever, muscle aches, upset stomach, or diarrhea. Salmonella bacteria can taint any food, although there's a greater risk from animal products because of contact with animal feces. In chickens, it can infect eggs before the shell forms, so even clean, fresh eggs may harbor salmonella. E. coli lives in the intestines of cattle and can contaminate beef during the slaughtering process. Ground beef is especially risky, because the bacteria can spread when meat is ground up. Symptoms of E. coli infection include severe abdominal cramps, watery diarrhea, and vomiting. The illness typically develops several days after exposure and can be severe in vulnerable people. Clostridium perfringens is a type of bacteria that causes cramps and diarrhea lasting less than 24 hours. Stews, gravies, and other foods that are prepared in large quantities and kept warm for a long time before serving are a common source of C. perfringens infections. Vibrio vulnificus is a bacteria that lives in warm seawater and can contaminate shellfish, particularly oysters. V. vulnificus infection causes the same gastrointestinal symptoms as many other foodborne illnesses, but in people with weakened immune systems it can develop into a life-threatening blood infection. Salmonella is an extremely common type of bacteria. These rod-shaped organisms can be found in both cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals across the world. They are also one of the most common causes of sickness in human beings. Salmonella poisoning can infect people in one of two ways. It is most often spread from animals to people through the food supply. This is how the bacteria can cause the nauseating disease gastroenteritis.

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