Foodborne illness (also called food poisoning) is an illness caused by eating foods that have harmful germs in them, like bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
These germs are mostly found in raw meat, chicken, fish, and eggs, but they can spread to any type of food. They can also grow on food that is left out on counters or outdoors or is stored too long before you eat it.
Sometimes foodborne illness happens when people don't wash their hands before they touch food.
Most of the time, foodborne illness is mild and goes away after a few days. But some types of foodborne illness may be more serious, and you may need to see a doctor.
Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & W. David Colby IV MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease