Nutrition Action Healthletter
October 1999 — U.S. Edition
 

Introduction.

Beef, Pork, Lamb, Veal.

Poultry.

Seafood.

Dairy.

Eggs.

Fruits and Vegetables.

Juice and Cider.

Prepared Foods and Salads.

Hot Dogs and Deli Meats.

If You Get Sick.

When Traveling.

Meet the Bugs.
 

MEET THE BUGS
Food Safety Guide.
Name Possible Symptoms
(from most to least common)
Foods that Have Caused Outbreaks How Soon it Typically Strikes How Soon it Typically Ends
Campylobacter
(toxin)
diarrhea (can be bloody), fever, abdominal pain, nausea, headache, muscle pain
 
chicken, raw milk 2 to 5 days 7 to 10 days
Ciguatera
(bacteria)
numbness, tingling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, headache, temperature reversal (hot things feel cold and cold things feel hot), dizziness, muscular weakness, irregular heartbeat
 
grouper, barracuda, snapper, jack, mackerel, triggerfish within 6 hours several days (neurological symptoms can last for weeks or months)
Clostridium
botulinum
(bacteria)
marked fatigue; weakness; dizziness; double vision; difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing; abdominal distention
 
home-canned foods, sausages, meat products, commercially canned vegetables, seafood products 18 to 36 hours get treatment immediately
Cyclospora
(parasite)
watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, low-grade fever, extreme fatigue
 
raspberries, lettuce, basil 1 week a few days to 30 days or more
E. coli O157:H7
(bacteria)
severe abdominal pain, watery (then bloody) diarrhea, occasionally vomiting
 
ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, sprouts, unpasteurized juices 1 to 8 days get treatment immediately
Hepatitis A
(virus)
fever, malaise, nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, jaundice shellfish, salads, cold cuts, sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, fruit juices, milk, milk products, infected food handlers
 
10 to 50 days 1 to 2 weeks
Listeria
(bacteria)
fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms; headache; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; infections of the blood (septicemia); inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or membranes of the brain or spinal cord (meningitis); spontaneous abortion or stillbirth
 
hot dogs, deli meats, raw milk, cheeses (particularly soft-ripened cheeses like feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined, or Mexican-style “queso blanco”), raw and cooked poultry, raw meats, ice cream, raw vegetables, raw and smoked fish
 
a few days to 3 weeks get treatment immediately
Norwalk virus
(virus)
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, low-grade fever
 
shellfish salads, infected food handlers 1 to 2 days 1 to 2 1/2 days
Salmonella
(bacteria)
nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, headache
 
poultry, eggs, raw meats, milk and dairy products, fish, shrimp, sauces and salad dressings, cream-filled desserts and toppings, fresh produce (including sprouts)
 
6 hours to 2 days 1 to 2 days
Scombrotoxin
(toxin)
tingling or burning sensation in the mouth, upper body rash, reduced blood pressure, headache, itching, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
 
fresh tuna, mahi mahi, bluefish, sardines, mackerel, amberjack, abalone immediate to 30 minutes 3 hours to several days
Vibrio para-
haemolyticus

(bacteria)

 
diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, chills
 
raw oysters and clams, crabs, shrimp 4 hours to 4 days 2 1/2 days
Vibrio vulnificus
(bacteria)
diarrhea (in healthy people), bloodstream infection (in people with liver disease, diabetes, or weak immune systems)
 
raw oysters and clams, crabs within 16 hours (diarrhea) get treatment immediately (bloodstream infection)
Source: Centers for Disease Control, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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