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Food Poisoning

Who is most at risk from getting food poisoning?

We are all at risk of getting food poisoning and becoming ill from consuming pathogenic bacteria.Food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, is illness caused by eating contaminated food.

Who are the most vulnerable people?

  • Pregnant women
  • People under 5
  • People older than 65
  • Immunocompromised people


Symptoms vary with the source of contamination. Most types of food poisoning cause one or more of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Fever

Many of us have strong immune systems that work to help us when we get sick. Some people are more vulnerable and at risk of serious illness or even death.


Contamination of food can happen at any point of production: growing, harvesting, processing, storing, shipping or preparing. Cross-contamination — the transfer of harmful organisms from one surface to another — is often the cause. This is especially troublesome for raw, ready-to-eat foods, such as salads or other produce. Because these foods aren’t cooked, harmful organisms aren’t destroyed before eating and can cause food poisoning. Read more

When to see a doctor

If you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, seek medical attention.

  • Frequent episodes of vomiting and inability to keep liquids down
  • Bloody vomit or stools
  • Diarrhea for more than three days
  • Extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping
  • An oral temperature higher than 100.4 F (38 C)
  • Signs or symptoms of dehydration — excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Neurological symptoms such as blurry vision, muscle weakness and tingling in the arms

At Canadian Food Safety Training we give you safe food facts!

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To learn more about the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care click here