10 Unexpected Ways to Get Food Poisoning

Opportunities for food poisoning lurk everywhere. Smneedham/Photolibrary/Getty Images

You know not to keep mayonnaise-based dishes out of the refrigerator for too long and that questionable chicken is never worth the risk. If only managing those two well-known, common culprits were enough to keep food poisoning at bay! Sadly, foodborne illness lurks around many corners, some that most of us have never even thought of before.

Food poisoning is incredibly preventable, but we routinely fail to take the appropriate steps to keep it from attacking. There are many viral, bacterial and parasitic agents that cause food poisoning, with some of the most commonly known being salmonella, Escheridia coli (E. coli) and listeria. Equally as gross is the fact that illnesses like rotavirus and Hepatitis A can actually be passed from an infected food handler to the product, putting the consumer at significant risk. Foods tainted with toxins and chemicals are also extremely risky.

Although there are more than 250 types of foodborne illness, they generally start off sporting similar, undesirable gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, fever, abdominal pain/cramps and watery diarrhea [sources: CDC, Mayo Clinic]. Most cases will pass in a matter of days without a trip to the doctor or hospital, but food poisoning can – and does – kill. In fact, roughly 3,000 people die from foodborne illness each year in the United States alone [source: CDC]. Check out these surprising ways that foodborne illness strikes and provide yourself with an extra layer of protection from these punishing illnesses.