Food-borne Illness Effects

Two new studies find that food-borne illnesses pose long-term health problems.

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Two reports released Thursday by the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI) say that food-borne illnesses can cause long-term health problems even after temporary side effects subside. Lingering effects include everything from chronic seizures and mental disability to kidney failure, paralysis, and even premature death. The group also projects that while food-borne illnesses have garnered substantial visibility in the press—citing mainstream coverage of E. coli and Salmonella outbreaks—the actual number of hospitalizations for tainted-food poisonings is vastly understated. CFI also reports that children under four are particularly vulnerable to the long-term effects of food-borne pathogens.