Food born diseasesWhat are food borne diseases?Food borne illnesses are caused by organisms or harmfulchemicals in the food we eat and drink. Most of theseillnesses are caused when certain bacteria, viruses orparasites contaminate food. Others occur when food iscontaminated by harmful chemicals or toxins. Over 250different food borne diseases have been described. Its notsurprising that since most of these infections or chemicalsenter the body through the stomach and intestines, the mostcommon symptoms are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea andabdominal discomfort.ORFood borne illnesses are infections or irritations of thegastrointestinal (GI) tract caused by food or beverages thatcontain harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, or chemicals.The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long,twisting tube from the mouth to the anus.
Cont….Most food borne illnesses are acute, meaning they happensuddenly and last a short time, and most people recover ontheir own without treatment. Rarely, food borne illnesses maylead to more serious complications.What causes food borne illnesses?The majority of food borne illnesses are caused by harmfulbacteria and viruses. Some parasites and chemicals also causefood borne illnesses.
Bacteria Bacteria are tiny organisms that can cause infections ofthe GI tract. Not all bacteria are harmful to humans. Some harmful bacteria may already be present in foodswhen they are purchased. Raw foods includingmeat, poultry, fish and shell fish, eggs, unpasteurizedmilk and dairy products, and fresh produce often containbacteria that cause food borne illnesses. Bacteria cancontaminate food making it harmful to eat at any timeduring growth, harvesting orslaughter, processing, storage, and shipping.
Cont..Foods may also be contaminated with bacteria during foodpreparation in a restaurant or home kitchen. If food preparersdo not thoroughly wash their hands, kitchen utensils, cuttingboards, and other kitchen surfaces that come into contact withraw foods, cross contamination the spread of bacteria fromcontaminated food to uncontaminated food may occur.If hot food is not kept hot enough or cold food is not kept coldenough, bacteria may multiply. Bacteria multiply quicklywhen the temperature of food is between 40 and 140 degrees.Cold food should be kept below 40 degrees and hot foodshould be kept above 140 degrees. Bacteria multiply moreslowly when food is refrigerated, and freezing food canfurther slow or even
Cont…stop the spread of bacteria. However, bacteria inrefrigerated or frozen foods become active againwhen food is brought to room temperature.Thoroughly cooking food kills bacteria.Many types of bacteria cause food borne illnesses.Examples include Salmonella, a bacterium found inmany foods, including raw and undercookedmeat, poultry, dairy products, and seafood.Salmonella may also be present on egg shells andinside eggs.
Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni), found in raw orundercooked chicken and unpasteurized milk.Shigella, a bacterium spread from person toperson. These bacteria are present in the stools ofpeople who are infected. If people who areinfected do not wash their hands thoroughly afterusing the bathroom, they can contaminate foodthat they handle or prepare. Water contaminatedwith infected stools can also contaminate producein the field.Escherichia coli (E. coli), which includes severaldifferent strains, only a few of which causeillness in humans. E. coli O157:H7 is the strainthat causes the most severe illness. Commonsources of E. coli include raw or undercookedhamburger, unpasteurized fruit juices andmilk, and fresh produce.
Cont.. Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes), which hasbeen found in raw and undercooked meats, unpasteurizedmilk, soft cheeses, and ready-to-eat daily meats . Vibrio, a bacterium that may contaminate fish orshellfish. Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum), a bacterium thatmay contaminate improperly canned foods and smokedand salted fish.
Viruses Viruses are tiny capsules, much smaller than bacteria, that containgenetic material. Viruses cause infections that can lead to sickness.People can pass viruses to each other. Viruses are present in thestool or vomit of people who are infected. People who are infectedwith a virus may contaminate food and drinks, especially if they donot wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom. Common sources of food borne viruses include food prepared by a person infected with a virus shellfish from contaminated water produce irrigated with contaminated waterCommon food borne viruses include norovirus, which causesinflammation of the stomach and intestines hepatitis A, which causes inflammation of the liver
ParasitesParasites are tiny organisms that live inside anotherorganism.Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia intestinalisare parasites that are spread through water contaminated withthe stools of people or animals who are infected. Foods thatcome into contact with contaminated water during growth orpreparation can become contaminated with these parasites.Food preparers who are infected with these parasites can alsocontaminate foods if they do not thoroughly wash their handsafter using the bathroom and before handling food. Trichinellaspiralis is a type of roundworm parasite. People may beinfected with this parasite by consuming raw or undercookedpork or wild game.
ChemicalsHarmful chemicals that cause illness may contaminate foodssuch as fish or shellfish, which may feed on algae thatproduce toxins, leading to high concentrations of toxins intheir bodies. Some types of fish, including tuna and mahimahi, may be contaminated with bacteria that produce toxinsif the fish are not properly refrigerated before they are cookedor served. certain types of wild mushrooms. unwashed fruits and vegetables that contain highconcentrations of pesticides.
Who gets food borne illnesses? Anyone can get a food borne illness. However, some peopleare more likely to develop food borne illnesses thanothers, including infants and children pregnant women and their fetuses older adults people with weak immune systems These groups also have a greater risk of developing severesymptoms or complications of food borne illnesses.
What are the symptoms of foodborne illnesses?Symptoms of food borne illnesses depend on the cause. Commonsymptoms of many food borne illnesses include vomiting diarrhea or bloody diarrhea abdominal pain fever chills Symptoms can range from mild to serious and can last from a fewhours to several days. C. botulinum and some chemicals affect the nervoussystem, causing symptoms such as headache tingling or numbness of the skin blurred vision weakness dizziness paralysis
What are the complications of foodborne illnesses?Food borne illnesses may lead to dehydration, hemolytic uremicsyndrome (HUS), and other complications. Acute food borneillnesses may also lead to chronic or long lasting health problems.DehydrationWhen someone does not drink enough fluids to replace those thatare lost through vomiting and diarrhea, dehydration can result.When dehydrated, the body lacks enough fluid and electrolytesminerals in salts, including sodium, potassium, and chloride tofunction properly. Infants, children, older adults, and people withweak immune systems have the greatest risk of becomingdehydrated. Signs of dehydration are excessive thirst
Cont… infrequent urination dark-colored urine lethargy, dizziness, or faintnessSigns of dehydration in infants and young children are drymouth and tongue lack of tears when crying no wet diapers for 3 hours or more high fever unusually cranky or drowsy behavior sunken eyes, cheeks, or soft spot in the skullAlso, when people are dehydrated, their skin does not flattenback to normal right away after being gently pinched andreleased.
Cont..Severe dehydration may require intravenous fluids andhospitalization. Untreated severe dehydration can causeserious health problems such as organ damage, shock, orcoma—a sleeplike state in which a person is notconscious.HUSHemolytic uremic syndrome is a rare disease that mostlyaffects children younger than 10 years of age. HUSdevelops when E. coli bacteria lodged in the digestivetract make toxins that enter the bloodstream. The toxinsstart to destroy red blood cells, which help the blood toclot, and the lining of the blood vessels.
Cont..In the United States, E. coli O157:H7 infection is themost common cause of HUS, but infection with otherstrains of E. coli, other bacteria, and viruses may alsocause HUS. A recent study found that about 6 percent ofpeople with E. coli O157:H7 infections developed HUS.Children younger than age 5 have the highest risk, butfemales and people age 60 and older also have increasedrisk.Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection includediarrhea, which may be bloody, and abdominal pain, oftenaccompanied by nausea, vomiting, and fever.
Cont..Up to a week after E. coli symptoms appear, symptoms ofHUS may develop, including irritability, paleness, anddecreased urination. HUS may lead to acute renalfailure, which is a sudden and temporary loss of kidneyfunction. HUS may also affect other organs and the centralnervous system. Most people who develop HUS recover withtreatment. Studies have shown that some children who recoverfrom HUS develop chronic complications, including kidneyproblems, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Other ComplicationsSome food borne illnesses lead to other serious complications. Forexample, C. botulinum and certain chemicals in fish and seafood canparalyze the muscles that control breathing. L. monocytogenes cancause spontaneous abortion or stillbirth in pregnant women.Research suggests that acute food borne illnesses may lead to chronicdisorders, including reactive arthritis, a type of joint inflammationthat usually affects the knees, ankles, or feet. Some people developthis disorder following food borne illnesses caused by certainbacteria, including C. jejuni and Salmonella. Reactive arthritisusually lasts fewer than 6 months, but this condition may recur orbecome chronic arthritis.
Cont..irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): a disorder of unknowncause that is associated with abdominalpain, bloating, and diarrhea or constipation or both. Foodborne illnesses caused by bacteria increase the risk ofdeveloping IBS.Guillain-Barré syndrome: a disorder characterized bymuscle weakness or paralysis that begins in the lowerbody and progresses to the upper body. This syndromemay occur after food borne illnesses caused bybacteria, most commonly C. jejuni. Most people recoverin 6 to 12 months.
Cont…stools that are black and tarrynervous system symptomssigns of HUSIf a child has a food borne illness, parents or guardiansshould not hesitate to call a health care provider foradvice.
When should people with food borneillnesses see a health care provider?People with any of the following symptomsshould see a health care providerimmediately:signs of dehydrationprolonged vomiting that prevents keepingliquids downdiarrhea for more than 2 days in adults or formore than 24 hours in childrensevere pain in the abdomen or rectuma fever higher than 101 degreesstools containing blood or pus
How are food borne illnesses diagnosed? To diagnose food borne illnesses, Doctor ask aboutsymptoms and foods recently consumed, and medicalhistory. Doctor will also perform a physical examinationto look for signs of illness. Diagnostic tests for food borne illnesses may include astool culture, in which a sample of stool is analyzed in alaboratory to check for signs of infections or diseases. Asample of vomit or a sample of the suspected food, ifavailable, may also be tested. A Doctor may performadditional medical tests to rule out diseases anddisorders that cause symptoms similar to the symptomsof food borne illnesses. If symptoms of food borne illnesses are mild and lastonly a short time, diagnostic tests are usually notnecessary.
How are food borne illnesses prevented? Food borne illnesses can be prevented by properlystoring, cooking, cleaning, and handling foods. Raw and cooked perishable foods— foods that can spoil—should be refrigerated or frozen promptly. If perishable foodsstand at room temperature for more than 2 hours, they maynot be safe to eat. Refrigerators should be set at 40 degrees orlower and freezers should be set at 0 degrees. Foods should be cooked long enough and at a highenough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that causeillnesses.
Cont..Cold foods should be kept cold and hot foods should be kept hot.Fruits and vegetables should be washed under running water justbefore eating, cutting, or cooking. A brush can be used underrunning water to clean fruits and vegetables with firm skin.Raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices should be kept awayfrom other foods.People should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds withwarm, soapy water before and after handling rawmeat, poultry, fish, shellfish, or eggs. People should also wash theirhands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or touchinganimals.
Cont..Utensils and surfaces should be washed with hot, soapywater before and after they are used to prepare food.Diluted bleach—1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 quart of hotwater—can also be used to sanitize utensils and surfaces.