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How Common are Fatalities from Food Poisoning in the US?

More than 5,000 people die of food poisoning every year in the United States. Another 76 million people a year experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea as a result of contaminated food — that's one out of every three people in the U.S., or an average of one person every two seconds.

More facts about food poisoning:

  • More than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food. The most common food-borne infections are campylobacter, salmonella and Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli. The highest-risk foods are leafy greens, eggs and tuna. In restaurants, food from the salad bar is the highest risk. Salsa and other foods made in large batches are dangerous as well.

  • Food poisoning tends to happen more often in warmer temperatures, with late spring through late summer having the most reported cases.

  • Infants and the very old are at the highest risk for food poisoning. Infants are susceptible to salmonella from improperly sanitized bottles and warm juice. Elderly people tend to get food poisoning from using out-of-date food and setting refrigerators at the wrong temperature.
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