Food-borne illness

We all need food to survive and eating a good meal should be a healthy experience but at some point in our lives, many of us have eaten something that has made us ill.

Contaminated (unsafe) food mainly affects the stomach and intestines and when your body realises that you have eaten something “bad” it tries to get rid of it as quickly as possible (often by vomiting or diarrhoea) and that’s no fun.

Food can become contaminated anywhere in the food process including during growth, production, processing, manufacture, preparation or cooking.

It’s very important that if you prepare food you understand what causes food-borne illness and what you need to do to prevent it.

Who is at risk from food-borne illness?

Although anybody can be affected by food-borne illness, some people are more at risk than others.
They include:

  • babies and young children
  • the elderly
  • people who are already ill or recovering from illness
  • people who have a reduced immune system
  • pregnant women and nursing mothers