Food poisoning infection, also known as foodborne disease, is identified by particular laboratory tests that detect specific organisms that caused the disease. Bacteria like campylobacier, salmonella, and e. coli are found by culturing the stool samples in the laboratory and isolating the bacteria that grow in the controlled environment of the lab. The parasites can be detected by examining the stools under the microscope while viruses are more difficult to see because they are very small to see under a light microscope and hard to culture. Viruses are normally identified by examining stool samples for genetic markers that show a specific virus is present.
There are still many foodborne infections that are not detected by routine laboratory procedures and need specialized, experimental, and expensive tests that are usually unavailable. If the diagnosis will be conducted, the patients should seek for medical attention and it is the doctor who must decide to order the diagnostic exams, while the laboratory will use proper procedures. Since many sick people do not seek for medical attention and if they do, many of them are not examined, and many foodborne cases went undiagnosed. For instance, the US Department of Health and Human Services- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, approximates that there are 38 cases of salmonellos sustained for each case that is diagnosed and reported to the public health authorities.