Food-borne disease is caused by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Many different germs can contaminate food, so there are many different types of food-borne infections. More than 250 different food-borne diseases have been described. Most of these diseases are infections, caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These different diseases have many different symptoms, so there is no one "syndrome" that defines food-borne illness. Common symptoms associated with food-borne illness are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. See the below related links for information regarding the most common food and waterborne illnesses.