Man with Indigestion

Food Poisoning


Healthgrades Editorial Staff

What is food poisoning?

Food poisoning is a general term for a wide variety of diseases that are caused by ingesting food or beverages that contain toxins or are contaminated with harmful microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses or parasites. Food poisoning is also known as food-borne illness. Every year 48 million Americans suffer from food-borne illnesses.

Food poisoning typically causes irritation and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that resolves within a few days. Food poisoning can