Are some foods more likely to cause foodborne illness than others?

Just about any food can become contaminated if handled improperly. However, foods rich in protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, and seafood, are frequently involved in foodborne illness outbreaks for two reasons:

  • Protein-rich foods tend to be of animal origin. Some animals have microorganisms that can cause disease in humans if not properly cooked.
  • Animal foods are rich in protein that bacteria break down into amino acids, which are an important nutrient source to some bacteria.

Bacteria also need moisture in order to survive and reproduce. Thus, they thrive in foods with high moisture content. These include starchy, egg-rich foods, and cream-based foods, such as potato or pasta salads, cream-based soups, and custard or cream pies.

Show All Answers

1. What is foodborne disease?
2. What are the symptoms of foodborne illness?
3. Are some foods more likely to cause foodborne illness than others?
4. What foods are associated with foodborne illness?
5. How long after I eat contaminated food (or consume bacteria) will I become sick?
6. If I ate out at a local restaurant in my area and the next day I became ill, what should I do?
7. What can I do at home to help protect my family from foodborne illness?
8. How can a customer best assure safe food in a food establishment?
9. How are foodborne diseases diagnosed?
10. How long can I keep meat in my freezer?
11. How are foodborne diseases treated?
12. How does food become contaminated (made impure)?
13. Are some people more likely to contract a foodborne illness? If so, are there special precautions they should take?
14. Does hot water kill bacteria?
15. Does freezing destroy bacteria and parasites?
16. How can a person prevent food poisoning?
17. Where can I learn more about food safety and foodborne diseases?
18. Where can I find information on Food Safety, Bacteria or Spoilage?