Food Poisoning and Food Safety Resources
Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is caused when a bacterium or other organism contaminates a food product and causes illness to those who consume the food. The practice of proper food safety techniques is the best way to prevent food poisoning, such as storing your food in a freezer or refrigerator and cooking it thoroughly. The U.S. government has numerous online resources to help you not only prevent foodborne illness but also to report it if you do become ill from food. Check the following resources for more details:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- CDC Food Safety Office - The home page for the CDC's Food Safety section includes links to state-specific outbreak alerts, ways to avoid food poisoning, and more.
- Foodborne Illness FAQs - Answers to frequently asked questions pertaining to foodborne illnesses.
- Infectious Disease Information on Food Related Diseases - An A-to-Z guide to foodborne illnesses, with links to more in-depth information.
- Preventing Food Illness: Food Irradiation FAQs - Answers to common questions about the irradiation of food, a controversial method of killing disease causing organisms that involves treating food with ionizing radiation to kill bacteria and parasites that would otherwise cause foodborne disease.
- How to Report a Foodborne Illness - Provides links for the general public to report a suspected case of food poisoning to your local or state health department. Also provides the CDC reporting number of 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
- Travelers’ Health: Safe Food and Water - Portal to help you determine which, if any, special precautions to take when traveling to specific countries and for specific purposes.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Food Safety Education Center - Smart phone apps and printable fact sheets about foodborne illness and tips on food poisoning prevention.
- Food Safety Fact Sheets - Collection of food safety fact sheets with advice on how to prepare meat and poultry, information about food labeling, and more.
- Ask a Food Safety Question (Ask Karen) - Interactive site for asking questions pertaining to food safety.
- Food Defense and Emergency Response - Information for consumers and owners of food facilities about how to maintain food safety during emergencies. Also provides information on food defense or the protection of food from intentional harm by biological, chemical, or radiological agents.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- FoodSafety.gov - Gateway to government food safety information, collecting information from the USDA, FDA, CDC, and other federal agencies.
Food safety is in everyone's best interests, but food poisoning can strike at any time. Consider speaking with a qualified attorney if you believe you’ve sustained a serious injury from tainted food. If you’re a restaurant owner who’s been sued over a food poisoning incident, it’s in your best interest to seek experienced legal advice quickly.