Food-borne illnesses (sometimes called food poisoning) are caused by eating foods contaminated
with pathogens (disease-causing agents) such as viruses,
parasites, bacteria, or fungi. Raw, unwashed, or undercooked foods are at
greatest risk of being contaminated. However, most food-borne illnesses can
be prevented if food is handled properly. Typical symptoms of food-borne illnesses
include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and sometimes fever.
Infants, the elderly, and people with diabetes, cancer, or AIDS are at an
increased risk because their immune systems may not be functioning properly.