Tap to Read ➤

Types of Food Poisoning

The most common types of bacteria that cause food poisoning are salmonella, shigella, campylobacter, and E. coli. To know more about these foodborne illnesses, read on.
Nicks J May 6, 2019
Food poisoning occurs when food that is eaten, contains harmful bacteria or toxins. Mild food poisoning is usually not a cause of worry. However sometimes, it can be serious and may cause deadly illnesses.
The common symptoms associated with these foodborne illnesses include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. The symptoms are generally observed within 2 to 6 hours of consuming the contaminated food.



Salmonella is the common cause of food poisoning in Britain. This bacteria is frequently found in raw milk and the intestinal tract of animals such as cows, pigs, and dogs. Inadequately cooked food and even improperly refrigerated food products such as meat, eggs, and milk may be contaminated with salmonella. 
Eating such foods can trigger infection, causing the aforementioned symptoms. However, the good news is that people infected with this bacteria may recover in a short time. In rare cases, some people experience irregular bowel movement for a couple of months.


Shigella is found in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and apes. This infection spreads when people ignore washing their hands properly, after contact with fecal (solid waste products of the body) matter. Bloody diarrhea and stomach cramps are the most common symptoms that usually begin within a couple of days after eating the contaminated food. 
The infection generally subsides within 5 to 7 days. People affected with severe shigella infection are advised to take antibiotics such as ampicillin, nalidixic acid, and trimethoprim. In severe cases, the patient may require a few months to recover from diarrhea.


This type of bacteria is commonly associated with poultry products. Eating raw poultry meat or not following safe meat-handling practices causes campylobacter infection. If the storage area of poultry products is not kept clean, then the bacteria can easily contaminate the meat. The best way to prevent this bacterial infection is to cook the food thoroughly.
Food that is well cooked, is free from contamination, as the bacteria can't survive at high temperatures. Good personal hygiene should also be maintained while handling the food. As far as treatment is concerned, drinking plenty of water and use of antibiotics may be recommended to treat campylobacter infection.


Escherichia Coli is the main culprit behind the onset of this foodborne illness. Although the bacteria is harmless, some of its strains can cause considerable damage to the body. The bacteria constitutes 1% of the total bacteria residing in an adult's intestines. People infected with the harmful strains of E. coli, often experience severe stomach pain.
O-157, one of the strains of E. coli, produces a powerful toxin that can cause bloody diarrhea and even kidney failure.  People who eat contaminated or undercooked ground beef are susceptible to this infection. It has been reported that those affected with E. coli infections recover within 5 to 10 days.
As a preventive measure, one should avoid undercooked and raw meat. Drinking unpasteurized milk or apple juice or eating raw vegetables can lead to E. coli infection.
Following good sanitary practices and thoroughly cooking food is the best way to prevent food poisoning. In case the food smells bad, one must immediately throw it away so that other foodstuffs don't get contaminated. Washing your hands carefully before eating food and avoiding uncooked food can greatly reduce the risk of foodborne diseases.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.