Understanding their root cause therefore is of utmost importance to people especially those in the food industry.
There are several sources of foodborne illnesses. Below are the most common among them:
1. illnesses/diseases coming from partially cooked meat
Not all people know that partially cooked meat could cause illness/diseases.
Some are infection with Trichinella spiralis , a parasite that resides at the muscles of animals. When this is ingested, the parasite enters the body and is able to propagate and infect the person.
Aside from this, a person may also be infected by other microorganisms which may not be killed because of impartial cooking.
This parasite causes trichinosis which is characterized by muscle and stomach pains. If left untreated, it may develop into myocarditis a heart muscle inflammation.
2. illnesses/diseases coming from food handlers
Almost everyone knows the story of Typhoid Mary, who was a typhoid carrier. She had contaminated the persons she served with Salmonella typhosa, the causative agent of typhoid fever because she had served food for them and had direct access to it. The food easily served as the "transmitter"; from Mary's hands and personal belongings, straight to the food she had served to people who ate at the food joint.
Typhoid fever is a disease that is highly contagious and is characterized by high fever, body malaise, severe headache, and sometimes stomach cramps and diarrhea.
3. illnesses/diseases coming from re-cycled food
Oftentimes to cut on expenses, people recycle old food by heating them. When this is done, proper care should be done to heat them thoroughly. There are however leftover foods, especially if kept at room temperature, that are better discarded than recycled.
Foods that have dairy products in them should not be eaten if they're not well preserved in the refrigerator. This is because spores form easily on dairy products. These spores when ingested can cause food poisoning or botulism The causative agent is Clostridium botulinum, a spore forming microorganism. Which can be found easily in soil and water and could contaminate food.
Botulism is fatal if not treated immediately. It can cause paralysis and is lethal.
4. Illnesses/diseases coming from contaminated utensils
Sometimes street foods are prone to this because of the tendency of the store owner not to be able to wash the cooking and eating utensils properly. This hepatitis virus can be passed from one mouth to another through a contaminated spoon or plate or other eating utensils. The virus is easily transmitted and readily enters the body and cause and infectious disease called hepatitis. This condition is characterized by jaundice and liver inflammation which could lead to death.
All in all, people should be made aware of these food borne illnesses so that proper precautionary measures are undertaken to prevent their spread.
Food handlers should observe proper personal hygiene, from the time of processing up to the time of eating. Clean the cooking environment too, to prevent contamination with these foodborne illnesses.
Photo by Thai Jasmine