Intoxication and Infection

The two most common types of food-borne illness are intoxication and infection. Intoxication occurs when toxins produced by the pathogen cause food poisoning. Infection is caused by the ingestion of food containing pathogens. Some people develop symptoms after ingesting a pathogen, while others never know that they are suffering from food-borne illness. The people that are most at risk are those with compromised immune systems. For these individuals, an incident of food-borne illness can be life threatening. Sanitation procedures, such as hand washing, separating at-risk foods (such as raw meat) from fresh vegetables, cooking foods, and chilling prepared foods, can help prevent food poisoning.

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