Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Food Poisoning Parasites

problematic foodborne pathogens

Parasites & Foodborne Illness

There are about 20 different species of parasites that are known to cause illness in humans from contaminated food or water.

They range in size from microscopic single-celled organisms known as protozoa to visible worms known as helminths. But, what they all have in common is that they derive their nourishment from other living organisms known as host organisms.

When the parasites live and reproduce in the tissues and organs of animal and human hosts they can then be excreted in feces and go on to infect other individuals. There is a hard shell covering to some varieties of protozoa that permit them to survive for lengthy periods of time in water waiting to infect another host.

Examples of protozoan parasites include CyclosporaGiardia, and Cryptosporidium. A well-known foodborne helminth is Trichinella, an intestinal roundworm.

five common types

Parasites that cause foodborne illness

Real People with real stories


Pathogen reference table

Incubation/Onset table

recent recalls
and outbreaks

STOP culls recall and outbreak information from FDA, USDA, CFIA and CDC for anyonewho  signs up for our free Food Recall Alerts.

Covering all 50 US States and Puerto Rico, and ten Canadian provinces and three territories, each recall notice includes the item(s) recalled, the contaminating pathogen, the states and provinces impacted, details about the products, and links to more information.


in your state or province (USA/Canada).


for foods contaminated with pathogens.

Share your foodborne illness story

We Will Help You Every Step Of The Way

Information provided in this section is in the public domain and is provided by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD); and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

This information is not meant to be used for self-diagnosis or as a substitute for consultation with a healthcare provider. If you have any questions about the bacteria described in this section or think that you may have a bacterial infection, please consult a healthcare provider.