San Jose Food Poisoning Law Firm

Types of Food Poisoning

Let's take a deeper look at the types of food poisoning and explore resources for dealing with food-borne illnesses or diseases.

Infectious agents caused by bacteria, parasites, and viruses constitute the first common type of food poisoning. Chemical and natural toxins constitute the other type.


Bacteria cause most cases of food poisoning. A 2000 survey from the United Kingdom found that campylobacter jejuni caused more than three-quarters of all cases of food poisoning reported. Other common pathogens include cafeteria bacteria, known as clostridium perfringens, salmonella, and E. coli. But this barely scrapes the bucket of potential bacterial pathogens. Other less common bacterial agents include streptococcus, brucella, and plesiomonas shigelloides. Bacteria also produce something called exotoxins, which also lead to food poisoning symptoms.


Studies suggest that viruses cause up to a third of all food poisoning cases in non-industrial countries. In the US and other parts of the developed world, viruses may account for an even higher percentage of cases. Common viral causes include noroviruses, rotaviruses, Hepatitis A and E, and enteroviruses.


Common parasites include worms, such as tapeworm and flatworm, nematodes, and protozoa, such as giardia lamblia.

Natural and artificial toxins

Many plants evolved to produce compounds designed to poison animals -- to prevent the plants from being eaten by potential predators. Natural toxins lurk in basically all of the food groups, including fruits, vegetables, meats, and mushrooms (fungi). They include shellfish toxins, scombrotoxin, honey toxins, and alkaloids.

Poisoning from pesticides and other artificial agents

Chemicals sprayed on vegetables, fruits, and crops to prevent infestation and protect against the elements can cause food poisoning-like symptoms, particularly in vulnerable individuals. Some artificial agents may not harm some people but may cause allergic-like symptoms in others.

Identifying your type of food poisoning and getting help ASAP

Most cases of food poisoning are mild and irritating but ultimately not harmful in the long term. But a significant number of cases can cause hospitalization and even death, particularly in vulnerable populations. Some estimates suggest that 5,000 or more people every year die in the US from food poisoning. To that end, seek immediate medical assistance if you experience any symptoms of poisoning.

And if you suspect that another party caused your poisoning by carelessly handling your food or mislabeling it, connect immediately with a San Jose foodborne illness lawyer at Caputo & Van Der Walde, LLP to get a complete and free case evaluation. Contact us at (877) 862-6288 to request your free consultation now.

See all office locations Office Locations


51 E. Campbell Ave. #120
Campbell, CA 95008
Phone: (408) 733-0100
Fax: (408) 733-0123
Toll Free: (877) 862-6288

San Jose

2033 Gateway Place,
5th Floor
San Jose, CA 95110
Phone: (408) 474-0005
Fax: (800) 622-1590
Toll Free: (877) 862-6288

Santa Cruz

1414 Soquel Avenue
Suite 222
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Phone: (831) 440-3014
Fax: (800) 622-1590
Toll Free: (877) 862-6288


6200 Stoneridge Mall Rd.
3rd Floor
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Phone: (925) 452-4710
Fax: (800) 622-1590
Toll Free: (877) 862-6288

San Mateo

1840 Gateway Dr.
Suite 200
San Mateo, CA 94404
Phone: (650) 273-4201
Fax: (800) 622-1590
Toll Free: (877) 862-6288

Copyright & Disclaimer

Campbell Foodborne Illness Attorney Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee. Please contact a lawyer for a consultation on your particular personal injury matter. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the state of California.

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