Food Bourne Illness

Food and water bourne illness can be caused by toxins created by growing bacteria, toxins produced by the harmful algal species, or by contamination of food and/or water with certain bacteria, viruses, or parasites.  Many cases of food poisoning happen when someone eats a food that containscharmful bacteria.

The most common food and water bourne diseases according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control are illnesses from the following bacteria:

  • Salmonella species
  • Shigella dysenteriae
  • Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (E. coli)
  • Vibrio cholerae
  • Cryptosporidium parvum

Most symptoms from infections with food and water bourne bacteria include, but are not limited to:  diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever, and stomach cramping.

If you think that you or someone you know may have come into contact with food or water bourne bacteria, contact the Cook County Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Center at 708-633-8030 immediately. If you require attention after hours, contact the Cook County Health Department at 708-633-4000.