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Common food borne illnesses

There are many types of food borne illness caused by different bacteria.


Symptoms include stomach cramps and severe diarrhoea and sometimes vomiting and fever. They can begin 2-10 days after eating contaminated food but usually within 2-5 days. Main sources are undercooked chicken and other meats, pets, unpasteurised milk and contaminated water and cross-contamination to other foods. This organism is the most common cause of acute diarrhoea in adults.


Symptoms include stomach pain, fever, diarrhoea and vomiting. It usually takes about 12-48 hours for the illness to develop. Symptoms can be much more severe in the young and elderly. Main sources are undercooked chicken and other meats, unpasteurised milk and raw or undercooked eggs. This organism is the 2nd most common form of food poisoning.

E.coli O157 

Symptoms include severe bloody diarrhoea, and the infection can lead to serious kidney damage in children. Usually takes 3-4 days for illness to develop. Main sources are undercooked beef burgers and minced beef, contaminated cooked meats and unpasteurised milk. This organism has also been linked to farms and farm animals.