Foodborne 10 Common Illnesses

  • Publish date: Monday، 06 June 2022 Last update: Wednesday، 07 June 2023
Foodborne 10 Common Illnesses

There are 31 notable foodborne bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, and chemicals that cause food and water contamination globally. Therefore, everyone must follow methods that reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Find out in this article the common foodborne illnesses; each illness's symptoms, sources, and Duration. 

Foodborne 10 Common Illnesses

Below is a list of the most common foodborne illnesses:  


  • Symptoms: Diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain, and fever. In some cases, diarrhea may be bloody and may be accompanied by nausea, and vomiting. 
  • Common Source: Raw and undercooked poultry and other meats and fish, unpasteurized dairy products, and contaminated water. 
  • Duration of Illness: 2 to 10 days 

Clostridium Botulinum 

  • Symptoms: Blurred vision, double vision, drooping eyelids, and difficulty breathing. 
  • Common Source: For infants, honey and products containing honey| For infants, children, and adults, improperly home-canned or preserved foods, including low-acid vegetables and fermented fish, improperly canned commercial foods, and herb-infused oils. 
  • Duration of Illness: Variable 

Clostridium Perfringens 

  • Symptoms: Diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 6 to 24 hours. 
  • Common Source: Raw beef and poultry. 
  • Duration of Illness: Typically less than 24 hours, and in severe cases, 1-2 weeks 

Cyclospora Cayetanensis 

  • Symptoms: Watery diarrhea with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements, weight loss, nausea, abdominal cramps, and fatigue. 
  • Common Source: Fresh produce harvested from tropical regions such as raspberries, basil, cilantro, snow peas, and certain varieties of lettuce. 
  • Duration of Illness: Ranges from a few days to a month or longer.  

E. Coli 

  • Symptoms: Severe diarrhea that is often bloody, abdominal pain, severe stomach pain, and vomiting. 
  • Common Source: Raw or undercooked ground beef, raw fruits, and vegetables including lettuce, spinach, and sprouts, unpasteurized juices or dairy products, and contaminated water. 
  • Duration of Illness: 5-10 days 

Listeria Monocytogenes 

  • Symptoms: Fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues, and in more severe cases, it can cause headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches. 
  • Common Source: Raw or unpasteurized milk and dairy products, soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk, raw fruits and vegetables, refrigerated meat spreads, ready-to-eat deli meats, hot dogs, refrigerated smoked seafood, raw and undercooked meat, poultry, and seafood. 
  • Duration of Illness: Ranges from a few days to several weeks. 


  • Symptoms: Stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Young children and older adults are particularly susceptible to contracting the virus.  
  • Common Source: Fresh produce, shellfish, meats, ready-to-eat foods (such as salads, sandwiches, ice cream, or cookies) prepared by someone infected, contaminated water or ice. 
  • Duration of Illness: Typically, 1-3 days, while young children, older adults, and hospitalized patients 4-6 days.  


  • Symptoms: Fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. In severe cases, enteric fever may result. 
  • Common Source: Meats, eggs, fruits, spices, and raw, untreated tree nuts. 
  • Duration of Illness: 4-7 days 

Staphylococcus Aureus 

  • Symptoms: Diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. 
  • Common Source: Milk and dairy products, as well as foods that require extensive handling or are not cooked after preparation, including sliced meats, sandwiches, salads such as tuna, chicken, potato or macaroni, and pastries. 
  • Duration of Illness: 1 day 

Vibrio Vulinficus 

  • Symptoms: Watery diarrhea, often accompanied by abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills when consumed. 
  • Common Source: Raw or undercooked shellfish, particularly oysters. 
  • Duration of Illness: 3 days 

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