food that makes people sick will often

Food That Makes People Sick Will Often: Indications to Watch Out For


Food that makes people sick will often exhibit signs that indicate they are unsafe and pose a threat to our health. These indicators include physical changes like bumps, altered color, loss of taste, foul smell, and contamination. Consuming such food can lead to food poisoning, a distressing experience that can cause severe symptoms. Although treatment is usually effective, recovery may take time. Thankfully, there are preventive measures you can take to avoid falling ill. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of food that commonly makes people sick, focusing on the signs to watch out for.

Understanding Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is a broad term encompassing various illnesses caused by consuming contaminated food. This contamination can occur due to the presence of bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are the most prevalent symptoms associated with food poisoning.

Improper handling of food items that contain toxins or poisons produced by certain microorganisms, such as bacteria, is a common cause of food poisoning. When these microorganisms grow in an unsuitable environment, they contaminate the food. Seafood eaten raw or undercooked can become contaminated by bacteria present in rivers and oceans. Additionally, consuming raw vegetables tainted with animal droppings can also lead to illness.

Identifying Food That Makes People Sick

Contrary to the saying “if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably not a dog,” spoiled food does not always exhibit obvious signs of spoilage. In fact, spoiled food often looks, smells, and even tastes normal for a considerable period. The harmful agents causing food poisoning are not externally visible; instead, they reside within the food itself.

While food that makes people sick typically displays certain signs, there are instances when it may appear perfectly normal. Therefore, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with these characteristics to recognize any indications of spoiled or contaminated food. Taking prompt action can help prevent serious illness or injury in the future.

Key Characteristics of Food That Makes People Sick

1. Insufficient cooking

Improperly cooked food can lead to illness. It is essential to ensure that all food is cooked thoroughly and reaches the appropriate temperature. For instance, the center of meat should reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, and eggs should be fully cooked. Failure to cook food properly and at the correct temperature significantly increases the risk of food poisoning.

2. Contamination

Contamination of food can occur due to various factors, ultimately stemming from poor hygiene practices. Neglecting to wash hands and equipment adequately or failing to refrigerate food at the appropriate temperatures can result in contaminated food.

3. Altered taste

Food that tastes different than usual may be an indication that it has gone bad. This is particularly true if the food has been stored incorrectly or left unattended for extended periods.

4. Unpleasant odor

Smell plays a crucial role in identifying spoiled food. Once food starts to spoil, it emits a foul odor. This unpleasant smell often arises from rapid bacterial growth, as bacteria multiply and produce gases during the process. If you notice an unusual or off-putting smell, it is best to refrain from consuming the food.

5. Change in color

If you observe any color changes in a specific food item, excluding changes in skin color, it is advisable to discard it. Such alterations can indicate the presence of mold inside the food. Mold growth on produce, bread, or cheese necessitates immediate disposal to avoid potential illness.

Tips to Avoid Consuming Food That Makes People Sick

  1. Thoroughly wash your hands: Research has shown that a majority of people do not wash their hands properly, leading to the spread of bacteria. Effective hand hygiene is crucial in preventing foodborne illnesses.
  2. Maintain a clean kitchen: When handling raw meat, ensure that you clean countertops and any other surfaces that come into contact with the meat. Thoroughly wash these surfaces before using them to prepare other food items. Additionally, it is advisable to use separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination.
  3. Properly store perishable foods: Always refrigerate perishable foods promptly and discard any leftovers that have been left uneaten for more than two hours. Following these practices helps prevent foodborne illnesses resulting from spoilage or contamination. Regularly clean your refrigerator, ensuring there is no mold on any items, including cheese and dairy products. Remove any expired food items and dispose of leftovers that have been stored for more than two days. It is equally important to pay attention to the condition of your freezer.
  4. Test questionable food: If you come across food that looks or smells questionable, it is prudent to take a small bite to ensure its safety before consuming more. If the taste is unpleasant or off, it may indicate that the entire batch is contaminated with toxins or bacteria, even if it has not yet been officially diagnosed.
  5. Cook food thoroughly: Use a meat thermometer or follow the cooking instructions on packaging to ensure food reaches the appropriate internal temperature.


Food poisoning is an unpleasant experience, but it is essential to remember that food can make people sick even without apparent spoilage. Proper food storage and adherence to expiration dates are crucial to prevent food from going bad. By adopting these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. If you are short on time or prefer a hassle-free approach, consider opting for foods that do not require cooking. Stay informed, stay safe, and enjoy your meals without worrying about falling ill due to foodborne illnesses.