"This reference summarizes the following data: etiologic agents and their nature, sources and important reservoirs, epidemiology, foods frequently involved in outbreaks, specimens and samples to take in outbreak investigations, laboratory approaches, and general control measures of foodborne diseases that have been reported throughout the world, This information is organized far rapid review and comparison of the same kinds of data about different diseases. Diseases transmitted by foods are frequently classified either as poisonings or infections. Poisonings are caused by ingesting toxicants that are found in tissues of certain plants and animals, metabolic products (toxins) formed and excreted by microorganisms(such as bacteria, fungi, or algae) while they multiply in foods, or poisonous substances that may be intentionally or incidentally added to foods as a result of producing, processing, transporting, or storing. Infections are caused by the entrance of pathogenic microorganisms into the body and the reaction of body tissues to their presence or to the toxins they generate within the body. Intestinal infections may be manifested by in vivo enterotoxin production or mucosal penetration. After mucosal penetration, the organisms multiply in the mucosa or pass into other tissues. This classification is illustrated on the adjacent page. In this reference, the foodborne diseases are classified on the basis of the type of agent responsible for the illness--bacterial, viral and rickettsial, parasitic (protozoan, cestodes, nematodes, trematodes, helrninths,fungal (mycotoxin or mushroom), poisonous plants, toxic animals, poisonous chemicals, and radionuclides. In each category, the diseases of contemporary importance are listed first. The relative importance of each disease does, however, vary from time to time and from place to place. This reference also includes diseases that have been reported as being foodborne even though proof is lacking. It also includes diseases in which the causative agent has been found in foods but transmission through foods is unknown, and enteric diseases in which the transmission through foods is possible."
United States. Department of Health and Human Services