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a nourishing substance that is eaten or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, or promote growth.
accessory f's foods high in calories and low in nutritive value, often used to increase palatability of foods with higher nutritive value, for example, gravy that is added to mashed potatoes.
functional f's foods and food supplements marketed for presumed health benefits, such as vitamin supplements and certain herbs; called also nutraceuticals.
food poisoning any of a group of acute illnesses due to ingestion of contaminated food. It may result from allergy; toxemia from foods, such as those inherently poisonous or those contaminated by poisons; or foods containing poisons formed by bacteria or foodborne infections. Food poisoning usually causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (gastroenteritis); this may occur suddenly, soon after the poisonous food has been eaten. The symptoms are acute, and include tenderness; pain or cramps in the abdomen; nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea; weakness; and dizziness.

The Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the most commonly recognized foodborne infections are those caused by the bacteria Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli O157:H7. Some caliciviruses, especially the Norwalk virus, are also common causes of food poisoning. There are more than 250 known foodborne diseases.
Bacterial Food Poisoning.

Bacterial food poisoning may be from any of a number of different microorganisms, and includes (among other types) botulism, campylobacteriosis, Escherichia coli infection, salmonellosis, and shigellosis.

Campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter infection) is the most common foodborne illness. Contaminated or undercooked poultry or meat, unpasteurized (raw) milk, and contaminated water may cause the disease, even though this organism is commonly found in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals without causing symptoms of illness. Symptoms of campylobacteriosis usually occur within two to ten days of ingesting the bacteria and include mild to severe diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Children, the elderly, and immunocompromised persons are particularly at risk. The bacteria is now recognized as a major contributing factor in the development of guillain-barré syndrome.

Salmonellosis (poisoning with Salmonella) is the second most common type of food poisoning. The source is usually a poultry product. Salmonella species can produce three types of illnesses: typhoid fever, gastroenteritis, and septicemia. The onset of gastroenteritis is usually 12 to 24 hours after ingestion of the contaminated food, with recovery taking from a few days to months, depending on the severity of the incident. The pathologic activity appears to be directly related to local bacterial action within the intestinal lumen and wall rather than from a toxin.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is one of many strains of E. coli; although most strains are harmless and live in the intestines of humans and other animals, this strain produces a powerful toxin and can cause severe illness. It is most frequently associated with ingestion of undercooked ground beef. Other sources of infection include contaminated sprouts, lettuce, salami, unpasteurized (raw) milk, and juice. Swimming in or drinking water contaminated with sewage can also cause infection. The most common symptoms are abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. It is also possible to experience nonbloody diarrhea or no symptoms. Usually there is little or no fever, and the illness may resolve in five to ten days. hemolytic uremic syndrome occurs in 2 to 7 per cent of patients.

Norwalk virus is another cause of food poisoning, usually associated with gastroenteritis. Symptoms are often mild, consisting of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Headache and low-grade fever may occur. The fecal-oral route via contaminated water or food is the usual method of transmission. Shellfish and salad ingredients are the foods most often implicated. Norwalk viruses are responsible for about one third of the cases of viral gastroenteritis in persons over the age of two years.
Other Poisonous Plants, Berries, and Shellfish. There are a number of poisonous berries and over 80 kinds of poisonous mushrooms. Children are frequently tempted by poisonous holly berries or the berries that grow on privet (the shrub often used for hedges). Adults often place their faith in misinformation about differences between poisonous and edible mushrooms. Although it is possible to learn to identify poisonous mushrooms and berries, it is much wiser to play safe. Children should be taught not to eat things they find in the woods or fields.

Mushroom poisoning can produce seizures, severe abdominal pain, intense thirst, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dimness of vision, and symptoms resembling those of alcoholic intoxication. Symptoms appear six to 15 hours after eating. Later, because of toxic injury to the liver and kidney, the person exhibits signs of hepatic and renal failure.

Mussels and clams may grow in beds contaminated by the typhoid bacillus (Salmonella typhi) or other pathogens. In addition, mussels, clams, and certain other shellfish are dangerous during warm seasons of the year, particularly in the Pacific Ocean; they become poisonous as a result of feeding on microorganisms that appear in the ocean in warm weather. Paralytic shellfish poisoning is a condition characterized by paralysis of the respiratory tract. The symptoms vary; there may be trembling about the lips or loss of power in the muscles of the neck. Symptoms develop quickly, within five to 30 minutes after eating.

Botulism is the most dangerous, but fortunately the rarest, type of food poisoning. Botulism-causing Clostridium botulinum bacteria and their spores are often present in the environment. The spores can be found on the surfaces of fruits and vegetables, as well as in seafood. Home-canned, low-acidic foods were once a common source for this type of poisoning. The bacteria and spores themselves are harmless; the dangerous substance is the botulinum toxin produced by the bacteria when they grow. Botulism results in a descending pattern of weakness and paralysis. When it is suspected, serum, feces, and any remaining food should be tested for botulinum toxin; food and fecal samples can also be cultured for Clostridium botulinum. In infant botulism, the toxin is produced when C. botulinum spores germinate in the intestines. Most cases in infants are caused by inhalation of airborne spores, but infants under one year old should not be given honey, which can contain C. botulinum spores.
Treatment. For most bacterial food poisoning, treatment is largely supportive and consists of rest, nothing by mouth until vomiting stops, medication for the diarrhea, and intravenous replacement of fluids and electrolytes as needed. While most bacterial poisonings are self-limiting, botulism must be treated promptly with antitoxin and respiratory support; the greatest threat to life is respiratory failure. A large proportion of persons with botulism whose cases are misdiagnosed or treated improperly have a fatal outcome.

In general, antibiotics are not effective in treating bacterial food poisoning. However, care will be individualized to the patient dependent upon the organism causing the infection and the condition of the patient. Prevention of food poisoning by proper handwashing techniques and appropriate food handling should be emphasized.

In the United States, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the Food and Drug Administration has published the Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook, a valuable source for basic facts on this subject.


That which is eaten to supply necessary nutritive elements.
[A.S. fōda]




1. Material, especially carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, that an organism uses for energy, growth, and maintaining the processes of life. Plants, algae, and some bacteria make their own food through photosynthesis, while animals and most other organisms obtain food by consuming other organisms or organic matter.
2. A specified kind of nourishment: breakfast food; plant food.
3. Nourishment eaten in solid form: food and drink.


Etymology: AS, foda
1 any substance, usually of plant or animal origin, consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and such supplementary elements as minerals and vitamins, that is ingested or otherwise taken into the body and assimilated to provide energy and to promote the growth, repair, and maintenance essential for sustaining life.
2 nourishment in solid form, as contrasted with liquid form.
3 a particular kind of solid nourishment, such as breakfast food or snack food.


A nutritive substance which is consumed by an organism to maintain health and growth; nutrient; comestible.


Nutrition An ingestable substance which serves to maintain the corporeal status quo; nutrient; comestible. See Bioengineered food, Chinese restaurant, Ciguatera poisoning, Designer food, Diet, Dietary fiber, Enriched food, Fast food, Fats, Fish, Food groups, Food pyramid, Fortified food, Four food groups, Frankenfood, Functional food, Health food, Healthy food, Hot food, Junk food, Live food, Low-fat snack food, Medical food, No food, Nonstandard food, Organic food, Scombroid poisoning, Soft food, Soy food, Spicy food, Standard food, Sticky food, Succotash, Sushi, Unhealthful food, Yang food, Yin food.


That which is eaten to supply necessary nutritive elements.
[A.S. fōda]


a substance containing or consisting of chemicals which can be used in the body of an organism to build structures and provide energy to sustain life. Most plants are AUTOTROPHS and require only ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS in their food, but animals are HETEROTROPHS and their food must contain certain carbohydrates, fats and proteins as well as vitamins and essential elements.


That which is eaten to supply necessary nutritive elements.
[A.S. fōda]


n the ingested solids and liquids that supply the body with nutrients and energy.
food additives, substances that are added to foods to prevent spoilage, improve appearance, enhance the flavor or texture, or increase the nutritional value.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services responsible for the enforcement of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and other statutes as assigned.
food, comminution of
n the reduction of food into small parts.
food debris,
n the particles of food remaining in the oral cavity after eating, which collect in tooth crevices and between the teeth and may contribute to the formation of dental caries. See also materia alba.
Food Drug and Cosmetic Act (FD &C), legislation passed in 1906 dealing with import and export activity as well as the enforcement of packaging and labeling requirements of all food, drug, and cosmetic commerce within the United States.
food frequency checklist,
n a tool used by individuals to determine how often they are ingesting certain types of foods. Consists of a list of various foods from all food groups and a grid allowing for a range of answers, from never to five or more times per day. See also diet.
food gorging,
n the rapid ingestion of large amounts of food; stuffing; in bulemia, gorging is alternated with purging as a weight-maintenance regimen.
Food Guide Pyramid, a graphic list issued and endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services; outlines recommendations for a healthy, balanced diet. Through the illustration of a three-dimensional triangle, it divides daily diet choices according to recommended frequency of ingestion.
food impaction,
food, physical character of,
n the consistency, as the firmness, viscosity, or density, of food substances. Soft, adhesive, and nonabrasive foods tend to cling to the teeth, which may lead to calculus formation, whereas coarse foods leave little debris and create a frictional effect on the tissues, thus cleansing them.
food record,
n a manually recorded history of an individual's dietary intake over a 24-hour period; subsequently analyzed by a dental hygienist in order to help correct any nutritional imbalances.


materials taken into the body by mouth which provide nourishment in the form of energy or in the building of tissues. Common usage is to use the term in relation to humans and dogs and cats and to use feed for the other animals but the rule is not absolute. See also diet, ration, feed.

food additive
nonfood materials added to a diet to enhance or limit a body function, e.g. growth, to control infection or to physically alter the food to facilitate handling or processing or preserving. See food additive.
food allergy
an immune-mediated reaction to a food or food additive; clinical signs are most commonly demonstrated in the alimentary tract or skin but may affect any system and in any hypersensitivity mode. Commonly diagnosed in dogs, occasionally in horses, but rarely in the other species. Called food hypersensitivity. See also dermatitis, pruritus, angioedema, urticaria, gastroenteritis.
food anaphylaxis
an acute allergic response to a food or food additive, with systemic signs typical of anaphylaxis in the species concerned. See also systemic anaphylaxis.
food animals
animals used in the production of food for humans. Includes, in common usage, the species and breeds that also supply fiber and hides for human use. Use of this term has spawned a rash of new knowledge disciplines such as food animal medicine, food animal ophthalmology, and new service areas such as food animal practice.
food borne disease
a disease with food as the source of infection. An example is Eschericia coli 0157:H7 infection of humans via hamburger meat.
food bumps
food chain
the path taken by a raw food product from the farm or other producing unit to the table of the consumer. Includes sale, transport, storage, processing, packaging and retail sale and all of the points of risk at which the food may become contaminated or spoiled or corrupted in some way.
food contaminants
include bacteria, parasites and toxic residues.
food conversion ratio
efficiency in converting the food into energy or tissue; a characteristic of the food relating largely to digestibility.
food exchanges
foods of approximately equivalent levels of energy, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, which may be exchanged or substituted in a diet without significant alteration to its nutritional balance.
generic food
see generic pet food.
food hypersensitivity
see food allergy (above).
food idiosyncrasy
an adverse reaction to ingested food by an individual, not mediated by immune mechanisms; may be due to an enzyme defect.
food intake
amount of food taken in a unit of time, usually daily.
food intolerance
an abnormal physiologic response to food which is not immune-mediated.
food legislation
the content, purity and public health connotations of animal foods are usually controlled by local legislation.
manufactured food
those commercially formulated and prepared; includes stock feeds, particularly supplements and pellets, canned and dry dog and cat foods.
food marker
inert material included in food to measure speed of passage of food through alimentary tract.
pet food
usually refers to commercially prepared food such as canned, semimoist, dry, kibbled, biscuits, loaves, and butcher's scraps in various forms provided for dogs and cats.
plant-based food
usual in livestock, but in carnivores it refers to mixed-source diets with a high plant-origin carbohydrate content; a common formula in commercially prepared pet foods.
food poisoning
a group of acute illnesses due to ingestion of a specific toxin in the food. Usually causes gastroenteritis and vomiting and diarrhea.
food refusal syndrome
observed mostly in pigs; refusal to eat a particular feed or meal but willing to eat other feeds. See also food refusal factor, deoxynivalenol, vomitoxin.
food rewards
the many types of food items owners and trainers use to reward their dogs or cats for behavior that pleases them; may be a part of training and behavior modification programs, but is often done simply as a result of the owner's affection for the pet.
food specific dynamic action
see specific dynamic action.
food toxicity
may be the result of toxins or microorganisms contaminating the food or excessive levels of a nutrient, such as vitamin A.

Patient discussion about food

Q. How Do You Treat Food Poisoning? I've been suffering from food poisoning for the last two days, is there a way to treat it? Is there specific food I should avoid?

A. The most important treatment for food poisoning is drinking water. The body loses many fluids and the danger is dehydration. Our body can last longer without food than it can without water, and therefore it is ok to avoid eating as much as you used to for a short period of time until your digestive system can recover. However it is very dangerous to avoid drinking, despite the possible vomiting.At any sign of dehydration (fatigue, dizziness) you should seek medical care. In case your symptoms go on loger than expected you should visit your doctor, because antibiotic treatment may help as well.

Q. What are the Symptoms of Food Poisoning? My kid started vomiting non-stop tonight, but has doesn't have a fever. We ate lunch at this new restaurant, could this be related? What are the symptoms of food poisoning?

A. Symptoms that occur within 1–6 hours after eating the food, suggest that it is caused by a bacterial toxin or a chemical in the food. During this short "incubation period", microbes pass through the stomach into the intestine, attach to the intestinal walls, and begin to multiply there. Some types of microbes stay in the intestine, some produce a toxin that is absorbed into the bloodstream, and some can directly invade the deeper body tissues. The symptoms produced depend on the type of microbe, but are most commonly vomiting, nausea, fever and stomach aches.

Q. How can I tell if I have food poisoning? I've been having diarrhea and been vomiting for 2 days now. How can I tell if it's food poisoning or anything else?

A. when i got food poisioned i was pooping and throwing up at the same time,it lasted for about 10 hours,

More discussions about food
References in periodicals archive ?
For delayed food rewards, multiple nonlinear regression analyses revealed that discounting by the BED group differed significantly from that of the control group, F(2, 6) = 191.
Yet even the controversy in Seminole County has not changed policies regarding food rewards.
I designed a feeder consisting of two clear tubes with food rewards held in place by one or more obstacles.
Gradually increase the contact time and use food rewards for good behaviour.
Gradually increase contact time and use food rewards for good behaviour.
The bond between handler and falcon is built through weeks of conditioning in which the trainer teaches the bird trust through food rewards.
During the webinar, Ricerca shared its experience with the use of behavioral conditioning using enhanced food rewards as a means of significantly reducing animal handling and stress during dermal dosing as part of its ongoing animal welfare program.
Whiten, along with Nicolas Claidiere, Emily Messer, and William Hoppitt, traced the monkeys' social networks by recording which monkeys spent time together in the vicinity of "artificial fruits" that could be manipulated to extract tempting food rewards.
Joingo's(TM) mobile platform and technology allows our staff to effectively and quickly reach our customers, deliver to them gaming and food offers, and more importantly, provide them with gaming and food rewards for their commitment and loyalty to us," said Casey Sullivan, Tamarack Junction General Manager.
Incorporate appropriate treats into your pet's diet to use as food rewards or create food puzzles (like hiding some treats in an empty water bottle).
The researchers first used gates to force the mole rats to use inefficient paths to reach locations where the animals had been trained to expect food rewards.
This reinforcement history also was associated with the interaction of chimpanzees and the human experimenters who provided the food rewards.

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