food poisoning


Definition of food poisoning

: an acute gastrointestinal disorder caused by bacteria or their toxic products or by chemical residues in food

Examples of food poisoning in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

More than 50 people on a trip from New York to Washington, D.C., were taken to the hospital Sunday night after about a dozen of them showed signs of food poisoning, officials said. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Dozens of tourists taken to Washington, DC, hospital for food poisoning," 2 Oct. 2018 An additional person had a probable case of food poisoning. Betsy Mckay, WSJ, "Sick Emirates Passengers Test Positive For Common Viruses," 6 Sep. 2018 The food poisoning-like illness usually isn't serious, according to the Mayo Clinic, and as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, it's caused by ingesting common bacteria, including salmonella. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "A Woman's Breast Implant Was Removed After Becoming Infected by Salmonella," 10 Oct. 2018 In one incident, the group masqueraded as the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, informing the business of a food poisoning incident. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Ukrainian hackers arrested for stealing 15 million credit card records," 1 Aug. 2018 The potentially fatal form of food poisoning results from the growth of Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum), the United States Center for Disease Control states. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "Taco Bell has just issued a warning for its popular salsa con queso.," 25 July 2018 One big worry about this, according to ACOG, is food poisoning while pregnant. Korin Miller, SELF, "Hilary Duff May Have Eaten Sushi While Pregnant and Everyone Needs to Chill Out About It," 13 July 2018 So, what does a case of food poisoning have to do with breast implants? Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "A Woman's Breast Implant Was Removed After Becoming Infected by Salmonella," 10 Oct. 2018 That would include, especially, Esther’s disastrous dates with Manhattan’s would-be lotharios and the elegant Ladies’ Day banquet that fells all the magazine’s interns with food poisoning. Megan Abbott, WSJ, "Five Best: Megan Abbott on Novels About Female Friendship," 9 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'food poisoning.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of food poisoning

1856, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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The first known use of food poisoning was in 1856

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food poisoning


English Language Learners Definition of food poisoning

: sickness caused by bacteria or chemicals in food

food poisoning


Medical Definition of food poisoning

1 : either of two acute gastrointestinal disorders caused by bacteria or their toxic products:
a : a rapidly developing intoxication marked by nausea, vomiting, prostration, and often severe diarrhea and caused by the presence in food of toxic products produced by bacteria (as some staphylococci)
b : a less rapidly developing infection especially with salmonellae that has generally similar symptoms and that results from multiplication of bacteria ingested with contaminated food
2 : a gastrointestinal disturbance occurring after consumption of food that is contaminated with chemical residues (as from sprays) or food (as some fungi) that is inherently unsuitable for human consumption

More from Merriam-Webster on food poisoning

Spanish Central: Translation of food poisoning Encyclopedia article about food poisoning

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