Populations at Risk for Foodborne Illness

Some consumers are more susceptible to foodborne illness and may experience more severe symptoms. This group of consumers includes young children, older adults, pregnant women, and persons with illnesses that affect the immune system. This page has information on reducing foodborne illness in at-risk populations and on microorganisms that are more likely to affect at-risk groups.

Information from UC


Young Children

Individuals with Immune Deficiencies

Older Adults

Pregnant Women & Infants


  • Smith, J.L. 1997. Long-term consequences of foodborne toxoplasmosis: Effects on the unborn, the immunocompromised, the elderly, and the immunocompetent. J. Food Prot. 60:1595-1611.
  • Smith, J.L. 1998. Foodborne illness in the elderly. J. Food Prot. 61:1229-1239.
  • Smith, J.L. 1999. Foodborne infections during pregnancy. J. Food Prot. 62:818-829.
  • Smith, J.L. and P.M. Fratamico. 2000. Long term consequences of foodborne disease. In B.M. Lund, T.C. Baird-Parker, G.W. Gould (eds.) The microbiological safety and quality of food, pp. 1545-1562.