What is the difference between a bacterial foodborne illness and a viral one?
While bacterial and viral infections often share the same symptoms, they are two very different types of pathogens. A bacterium is a single-celled organism that which causes illness when ingested. Unlike viruses, bacteria can grow on the food they contaminate. Most foodborne illnesses come from bacteria. A virus is non-living, and is usually spread from person to person. While some antibiotics may be used to treat bacterial infections, they are ineffective with viral ones.