Food poisoning due to organic or inorganic toxins

More generalized outbreaks involving large numbers of people not necessarily associated with each other and presenting with bizarre symptoms, such as paralysis, may be caused by an organic or inorganic poison contaminating the food. Examples are cyanide poisoning from poorly processed bitter cassava, eating unripe akees (a fruit popular in the Caribbean) or contaminants in cooking oil.

Although very localized, such outbreaks can be serious with considerable morbidity and sometimes mortality, necessitating the identification of the source as a matter of urgency and banning them from human consumption.

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