Foodborne Illness

A resource for fair and petty zoo legal cases and outbreak prevention

About Foodborne Illness


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million foodborne illness cases occur in the United States every year. At least 128,000 Americans are hospitalized, and 3,000 die after eating contaminated food.

While most foodborne illness cases go unreported to health departments, and are thus of unknown origin, the CDC estimates that 9.4 million of the illnesses are caused by 31 known foodborne pathogens, and that 90% of all illnesses due to known pathogens are caused by seven pathogens: Salmonella, norovirus, Campylobacter, Toxoplasma, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria and Clostridium perfringens.

According 2010 estimates, norovirus in the most common of the known pathogens, responsible for 5.4 million illnesses and 149 deaths each year. Salmonella is now estimated to cause more than a million illnesses and 378 deaths annually. E. coli toxins are estimated to cause 176,000 illnesses and 20 fatalities a year. Campylobacter is estimated to cause 845,024 illnesses and 76 deaths. Listeria is one of the most lethal pathogens, estimated to cause 1,591 illnesses and 255 deaths.

Foodborneillness.com describes some of the most commonly recognized bacteria and viruses that cause food poisoning. In addition to a general description of each pathogen, we have provided information on the symptoms and risks of each kind of foodborne illness, as well as how they are detected as the cause of infection, and measures you can take to prevent contracting each type of bacterial or viral food poisoning.

Frequently asked questions about food poisoning, such as “What should I do if I think I have food poisoning?” and “What does it mean if I have bloody diarrhea?” are answered on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

If you are seeking legal help for a foodborne illness claim, contact the Marler Clark attorneys, either by filling out our online form for victims of foodborne illness, or by calling (866) 770-2032.

Frequently Asked Questions


Important information about foodborne illnesses. See all

Q. What are the causes of diarrhea?

Diarrhea – loose, watery stools occurring more than three times in one day – is a common problem. There are many causes of diarrhea. Temporary diarrhea lasting three weeks or...

Q. What is the stomach flu?

Many people use the term “stomach flu” or “24-hour flu” to describe symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Although these symptoms can be related to illness caused by influenza viruses...

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