You are on page 1of 2

Foodborne ilness is defined as any illness resulting from ingestion of food.

Several clues
indicate that an illness is foodborne. The hazards associated with foodborne illness are of three
types: biological, chemical, and physical. Biological hazards include bacteria, mold, viruses, and
parasites such as protozoa, flatworms, and roundworms. Chemical hazards include chemical
substances that occur naturally in foods, such as plant toxins, and those that are added to food,
such as antibiotics. Physical hazard include bone, metal plastic, and any other foreign matter that
can cause damage to the consumer if ingested.

Bacteria cause disease in humans according to the following classification: infection,


intoxication, and intoxification. Foodborne Infection infectious bacteria are those that invade the
intestinal tract. Examples of such infective microorganisms are Salmonella, Yersinia, and
Shigella. Foodborne Intoxication bacteria that cause intoxications are those that produce toxin in
the food during growth. Food can be contaminated with toxin producing or ganisms like
Staphyloccocus aureus or Clostridium botulinium. Foodborne Intoxification intoxification is
caused by ingestion of bacteria that, once inside the small intestine, begin to produce toxin.

Transmission of the virus can be through the fecaloral route for example a food handler
suffering from hepatitis A doesn’t wash his/her hands after using the restroom. The hands
become contaminated with fecal material that contains viral particles. Tocuhing food that are to
be eaten without any further preparation, such as sandwiches and salads, can transfer the virus to
the unsuspecting consumer.

Hepatitis type A ranks as the sixth leading cause foodborne illness in the United States, it takes
about 4 weeks to develop, with the virus being shed in the feces during this time. Usually,
transmission is by the fectal-oral route, with foods subject to fecal contamination due to a
foodhandler, or to contact with sewage. Viruses are easily inactivated by heat, thus thorough
cooking is sufficient to render the food sale from these agents. Most viral foodborne illness
occurs from eating food contaminated after cooking or to lightly cooked shelfish.

Toxoplasma gondii is commonly harbored in house cats. Oocysts in fecal material are
ingested, which pass to the intestine where they release eight sporozoites. When immunity is
suppressed, these bradyzoites break and release the tachyzoites, which multiply rapidly bringing
another acute infection. These are easily transmitted to the fetus though the placenta, thus are a
danger to unborn children. Most people experience no symptoms, with some exhibitingrash,
headaches, fever, muscle aches and pains, and swelling of the lymph nodes, all of which mimic
infectious mononucleosis.

Of the factors involved in foodborne illness, improper holding or storage temperatures ranks
an number one, with foods consumed in restaurants causing the vast majority of outbreaks. In
addition, poor personal hygiene and improper cooking temperature are responsible for a
significant number of outbreaks. Thus, in considering the ways in which foodborne illness
caused by biological hazards can be prevented, we can summarize them into three categories:

1. preventing or minimizing contamination


2. preventing or minimizing growth of the hazards

3. eliminating or reducing the hazard

To accomplish this goal, we must first realize that contamination of raw foods with pathogenic
organisms is almost inevitable. Microorganisms and parasites are ubiquitos, making it very
difficult to avoid contact with fruits, vegetables, or food animals on the farm, or with seafood in
contaminated waters. The food industry depends on good manufacturing practices, or GMPs, and
sanitation procedurs to accomplish this goal. As a part of GMPs, foods should be produced in
such a way as to minimize contact with contaminated soil, water, or air.

The range of temperature 40-140 ̊F is known as the danger zone, because most disease causing
microorganisms proliferate at these temperatures if maintained for at least two hours. When food
are cooked and are to be stored, the temperature should be lowered to below 4 ̊C as quickly as
possible to minimize the time that the food spends within danger zone of temperatures. Most
pathogenic organisms cannot grow below 5 ̊C, and even those that can are often not able to
synthesize toxins.

The effect is termed bacteriostatic because bacteria are not able to multiply even though they
remain viable. For example, sulfites, which are used in fruits to delay enzymatic browning, are
bacteriostic to lactic acid bacteria. Sodium nitrite is used in the curing of meats to stabilize the
red color and contribute to flavor development. However, it also inhibits germination of
Clostridium botlinium spores and the subsequent production of neurotoxin.

Heat inactivates enzymes due to protein denaturation, which essentially renders the biological
hazards unable to carry out their metabolic process. It also damages structural cell components,
resulting in death, The effectiveness of this treatment on eliminating or reducing hazards depends
on a few factors: type of heat treatment, type of blood, and type of biological hazard. Regarding
the treatment, the higher the temperature and the longer the time of heat application, the more
effective the treatment.