Santé Montréal

WHAT IS FOOD POISONING?

Food poisoning can cause a variety of illnesses linked to drinking water or eating food contaminated with infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, parasites) or chemical substances. Food poisoning is usually caused by improperly handled or undercooked food.

Symptoms can appear a few hours to several days after ingesting a contaminated item.

Symptoms of food poisoning include

  • Nausea
  • Vomitting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Headaches

Consequences can be more serious in children, pregnant women, older adults and people with weakened immune systems.

The most common sources of infection are


HOW TO AVOID FOOD POISONING

Choose, handle and cook food safely to avoid food poisoning

  • Choose safely (eat and drink pasteurized milk products).
  • Store or preserve foods at appropriate temperatures.
  • Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods, and wash dishes and utensils often (to avoid direct or cross contamination).
  • Cook foods thoroughly (avoid eating rare hamburger meat).
  • Keep food refrigerated at temperatures between 0 ºC and 4 ºC.
  • Wash hands with soap and water and adopt other good hygiene habits.

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