The Most Common Type Of Food Poisoning In The US

Thankfully in the present day, we have access to lots of different foods that can be eaten in lots of different ways. There are entire facilities, organizations, and intricate processes dedicated to preserving foods and keeping them fit for consumption, but ultimately you need to be careful of what you're putting in your mouth.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 48 million people experience some kind of food poisoning in the United States each year, and according to the FDA, the most common cause of illness from food and drink consumption is norovirus. The CDC reports that about 50% of all food illness outbreaks are due to the norovirus. The primary setting for such outbreaks is public food service settings like restaurants, care facilities, cruise ships, and universities. Waiters and chefs that are infected can spread the norovirus very efficiently through the food handled, but the virus can also be transferred through surfaces, utensils, and glasses.

How it spreads and what to do about it

You can get norovirus from eating certain kinds of uncooked and unclean shellfish, vegetables, and fresh fruit, per the CDC, but the real danger of norovirus is its ability to spread quickly. Norovirus is highly contagious and can be spread by any contact between people and food, according to the Mayo Clinic. Contaminated foods, contaminated people, and closed and crowded areas are at high risk for spreading norovirus. Resistant to heat, cold, and many disinfectants, norovirus can also remain on surfaces for up to several weeks.

If contracted, the food poisoning will usually last several days, and the infected will experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms typical of gastroenteritis. In the event that it has been significantly longer than three days of symptoms, you should contact a healthcare provider and get a medical professional to get more information.