Food-borne illnesses: What they are and how to avoid them

Food borne illnesses are becoming more frequent. It seems almost weekly, we’re hearing something has been recalled due to a pathogen. So, just what are those germs infecting our foods and what can we do to prevent them?

Check out this quick guide to five of the most common food-borne illnesses to find out:

#1: Camplobacter

Affected Foods: Poultry

Per Year Stats: 76 deaths and 8,500 hospitalizations

Prevention: Not cooked poultry and a cross contamination are the two likeliest reasons behind it. Be sure to wash everything that raw food comes in contact to.

#2: Toxoplasma

Affected Foods: Pork and Beef

Per Year Stats: More than 300 deaths and 4500 hospitalizations

Prevention: Cook the meat to proper temperature and be sure to wash your hands after handling raw meat.

#3: Listeria

Affected Foods: Deli Meats and Cheeses

Per Year Stats: 255 deaths

Prevention: Eliminate cross-contamination, such as using different knives and cutting boards. When it comes to deli meats, buying small amounts could end up being the difference.

#4: Salmonella

Affected Foods: Poultry, eggs, produce

Per Year Stats: 19,000 hospitalizations and 255 deaths

Prevention: Wash your hands before and after handling those raw foods. Be cautious to let it not touch ready-to-eat foods and kitchen equipment.

#5: Norovirus

Affected Foods: Homemade salads and sandwiches

Per Year Stats: 6,696 hospitalizations and 68 deaths

Prevention: Washing hands is the biggest form of prevention; if you are showing flu-like symptoms, have a roommate or friend make your food instead.


*Information courtesy of