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Food Borne Illness University of Phoenix SCI/163

2 Food Borne Illness Although food safety in the United States has come along way in ensuring that American consumers are generally safe, foodborne illnesses still pose a threat to people. These foodborne illnesses, some of which are hundreds of years old, can rise suddenly and catch the population off guard. The fact that foodborne illnesses have become increasingly rare in recent years can lead a population to relax their standards for food safety, thus increasing the risk of an outbreak. One of the most persistent foodborne illnesses is Salmonella. Discovered by an American scientist, this illness has been a foodborne danger for well over 100 years. Although rarely fatal, Salmonella cases in the United States tend to number over 42,000 cases per year ("CDC - General Information On Salmonella", n.d.). The true number of cases in the United States per year is difficult to account accurately given that many cases, because milder, are usually not diagnosed or reported. According to the Center for Disease Control, a much more accurate representation of Salmonella cases within the United States might be as much as 29 times greater than what is reported ("CDC - General Information On Salmonella", n.d.). Salmonella live within the intestines of many birds and mammals and is usually spread through humans through contaminated food (food that has come into contact with animal feces). Because thorough cooking of meat and poultry can kill Salmonella, it is most commonly transmitted to humans through the consumption of undercooked meat, poultry, and eggs ("CDCDiagnosis And Treatment - Salmonella", n.d.). Symptoms of Salmonella are varied and can resemble other illnesses, a factor that ultimately affects that amount of cases that are reported. Common symptoms of Salmonella include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, chills, headache, diarrhea, muscle pains, and blood in the stool ("Salmonella Infection: Symptoms - Mayoclinic", 2012).

3 The duration of Salmonella tends to be quick, with the average recovery time taking between four to seven days. Symptoms usually pass without formal treatment, although in some cases, diarrhea can be so severe as to induce dehydration and cause the patient to be hospitalized. The most severe (and rare) cases of Salmonella consist of the infection moving from the gastrointestinal system to the blood. In these rare instances quick treatment with antibiotics might be needed to stave off death ("CDC - General Information On Salmonella", n.d.). Recently. Salmonella outbreaks have affected a number of people. In 2012, a multistate outbreak of Salmonella linked to live poultry infected 93 people across 23 states. In this outbreak, 18 people required hospitalization and possibly one death resulted from the infection ("CDC - Salmonella Infections Linked To Live Poultry", n.d.). Also this year, a multistate outbreak of Salmonella linked to sushi tuna affected 316 people over 26 states, with the majority of victims residing on the east coast ("CDC: 316 Ill In Multistate Outbreak Linked To Sushi Tuna", 2012). Outbreaks such as those listed above can be avoided by taking the proper precautions. The most obvious way a person could prevent further outbreaks would be to wash their hands after handling raw meat or coming into contact with animals. In addition, storing raw meat and poultry away from other foods can diminish the chance of a Salmonella outbreak. Last, avoid consuming raw or undercooked foods that contain meat or raw eggs. These foods include (but are not limited to) ice cream and cookie dough ("Salmonella Infection: Prevention Mayoclinic", 2012). The threat of foodborne illness should not stop people from enjoying the foods that they love. Although outbreaks tend to get the most media attention and highlight the fear of

4 foodborne illnesses, by being informed and taking proper precautions foodborne illnesses do not pose a serious risk.

5 References

CDC: 316 Ill in Multistate Outbreak Linked to Sushi Tuna. (2012). Retrieved from

CDC- Diagnosis and Treatment - Salmonella. (n.d.). Retrieved from

CDC - General Information on Salmonella. (n.d.). Retrieved from

CDC - Salmonella Infections Linked to Live Poultry. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Salmonella Infection: Symptoms - MayoClinic. (2012). Retrieved from

Salmonella Infection: Prevention - MayoClinic. (2012). Retrieved from