Diseases Diseases

About Food Related Diseases


The notion of food related diseases encompasses any illness that is caused by the consumption of contaminated food. This can be due to pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food or natural toxins such as poisonous mushrooms. 


Amebiasis is a food related diseases that is spread thorough water and food that have been contaminated by feces. This condition is more likely to manifest in regions of poor sanitation and overcrowding. Additionally individuals who are more at risk for severe Amebiasis are those inflected with Alcoholism, Cancer, Malnutrition, Older or younger age, Pregnancy, those who have had recent travel to a tropical region or the use of corticosteroid medication to suppress the immune system. The majority of individuals who become infected with this type of food related diseases experience no symptoms, this is due to the fact that the parasite that causes this disease ( Entamoeba histolytica) can harmlessly live in the large intestine. But sometimes symptoms will be evident; these can either be moderate or severe. Moderate symptoms are

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive gas
  • Rectal pain while having a bowel movement (tenesmus)
  • Unintentional weight loss

Severe symptoms:

  • Abdominal tenderness
  • Bloody stools
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

The treatment plan will depend on the severity of the disease. With regards to moderate cases  metronidazole is given by mouth for 10 days. Whilst severe incidences will require medications through a vein (intravenously). 


The next food related diseases we will discuss is Salmonella enterocolitis, one of the most common types of food poisoning. This food related diseases is an infection in the lining of the small intestine that is manifested due to the  Salmonella bacteria. An individual will become infected by the ingestion of contaminated  food or water, via the food being exposed to  unsanitary preparation conditions and equipment. Symptoms will usually occur 8-48 hours after infection and they will take the form of:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping or tenderness
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

When you are experiencing the horrible symptoms of this food related diseases you will need to replace the fluids and electrolytes that you are losing. Fever and aches can be dulled via acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If the infection is quite severe your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. 

The last food related diseases that we will exhibit is Botulism, a rare and severe sickness caused by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. This bacteria can enter an individual either via a wound or the ingestion of contaminated canned or preserved food. The most common contaminated food sources are  home-canned vegetables, cured pork and ham, smoked or raw fish, and honey or corn syrup. Symptoms usually manifest  8 - 36 hours after eating the offending food and they will include the following,


  • Abdominal cramps
  • Breathing difficulty that may lead to respiratory failure
  • Difficulty swallowing and speaking
  • Double vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness with paralysis 

Infants that are infected:

  • Constipation
  • Poor feeding and weak sucking
  • Respiratory distress
  • Weak cry
  • Weakness, loss of muscle tone

The treatment method for this food related disease is the administration of a botulinus antitoxin.

Tips and comments

If you are to travel through a tropical destination make sure to only drink purified or boiled water, and do not eat uncooked vegetables or unpeeled fruit.

To prevent the majority of food related diseases make sure to practice proper food handling and storage. This can be done by washing your hands frequently whilst cooking. 

By Athena Rhodes, published at 04/02/2012
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