- Recent data put out by the Union Health Ministry’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) has indicated that food poisoning is one of the commonest outbreaks reported in 2017. This is apart from acute diarrhoeal disease (ADD).
- According to the data, 312 of the 1,649 outbreaks reported till the third week of December 2017 were due to ADD and 242 were due to food poisoning.
- The IDSP has interpreted that the incidence of ADD and food poisoning is high in places where food is cooked in bulk, such as canteens, hostels and wedding venues.
- Acute diarrhoeal disease and food poisoning have been common outbreaks since 2008. This is followed by chickenpox and measles.
- Food poisoning, also called food-borne illness, is caused by eating contaminated food. Infectious organisms including bacteria, viruses and parasites or their toxins are the most common causes.
- Infectious organisms or their toxins could contaminate food at any point of processing or production.
- Contamination can also occur at home if food is incorrectly handled or cooked
- While it is known that raw meat, poultry and eggs can also harbour diseases, in recent years most outbreaks of food-borne illnesses have been due to contaminated fresh fruits and vegetables.