What Causes Food Poisoning

What Causes Food Poisoning

Every year, millions of food poisoning cases occur in different parts of the world. This calls for great concern to this problem. Many food poisoning cases occur because of mishandling food and not adhering to the important cooking and food storing routines that help fight germs and prevents toxins from entering food. There are four main culprits associated with poisoning.

The 4 main culprits of food poisoning


Bacteria are the leading causes of food poisoning accounting for about two-thirds of food poisoning episodes. In this category, we have Salmonella, Bacillus Cereus, and Staphylococci as the leading germs in bacteria. Every food we eat always has a few bacteria. It takes more than the few bacteria to cause food poisoning. An average adult requires about one million bacteria present in food for poisoning to occur. However, the case is quite different for children, old and sick persons who only require a lakh of bacteria to experience food poisoning.


Viruses contain genetic materials. They only grow and multiply in living tissues. This means that viruses cannot multiply in food. This means that cooked food cannot contain viruses for the hot temperatures destroy any virus found in food. Food can only transport viruses if it does not undergo normal cooking. This means that uncooked food is at a great risk of causing food poisoning. Handling of cooked food by a person who is a carrier of a virus can also cause the food to contract the virus.


There are chemicals that cause food poisoning. Such chemicals include detergents, pesticides, food additives, paraffin, and sterilizing agents. Food poisoning caused by chemicals is mainly due to carelessness at home or in commercial food establishments. As a tip, you should keep harmful chemicals away from the kitchen. You can also avoid eating foods with too many additives for they have a high risk of causing food poisoning. When buying packed food, you should opt for well-packed foods with less risk of food poisoning.



Vegetables too can cause food poisoning. There are poisonous plants that easily mix with good vegetables to cause food poisoning. When they mix, such plants may cause severe food poisoning. Such plants include toadstool, rhubarb leaves, black nightshade, hemlock, and undercooked red kidney beans. Even when cooked, the toxins found in these plants stay intact, and not even the hot temperatures can remove them, thus making them poisonous. As a tip for avoiding poisoning, you should be very careful on the kind of vegetables you eat.