How Does Food Get Contaminated ?

Food-borne illnesses are health conditions that are of significance to the world. At what time does food get contaminated? How do I stand against food-borne illnesses? Are matters we need to address and get mindful of, to keep safe.

Food is a requisite to life and growth. Food is food when entire nutritional supplements and other essential minerals are complete in it. Yet, food can be a route to bringing illnesses into our body, which sometimes leads to death.

Food can get contaminated with microorganisms; This is more or less caused by human and environmental practices such as improper waste disposal, the vulnerability of food to insects and debris, undercooking food, storing food for long, and some human’s unhygienic exercises.

As stated by WHO, Food-borne illnesses result in 137,000 deaths in Africa, with 91 million victims annually, and largely affects children under the age of five, elderly people, and people with chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

Plaintively, food-borne illnesses multiply yearly in developing countries because most of the people there incline to neglect the importance of personal and food hygiene. The convenience of getting already cooked food made on the streets has caused many to overlook whether it is safe or not. The increase in importation in the trade industry introduces microorganisms through food into developing countries as well.

Bacteria liable for causing food-borne illnesses are found to be mainly salmonella and campylobacter. Salmonellas are widespread bacteria. Water, soil, and human feces are places where they live. These bacteria attack the intestinal area, in which humans start to display symptoms within 12-72 hours.

On the whole, salmonella is caused by eating uncooked or undercooked meat, poultry products, or fruits and veggies. Salmonellas are likely to appear when food is handled by a person who didn’t wash their hands after using the toilet.

Symptoms associated with Salmonella bacteria include nausea, vomiting, fever, and cramps. The majority of people infected with this bacterium regain their health after 4-7 days even without medication. However, children, elderly people, and people with weak immune systems suffer a more serious illness.

Campylobacter, on the other hand, is the bacteria responsible for gastroenteritis. Symptoms include pain in the abdomen, belching, loss of appetite, and lethargy. These bacteria’s best growth temperature is between 37°C – 42°C, causing them to die or reduce when exposed to drying or freezing. Campylobacters can either be found on uncooked food and unpasteurized milk or on water bodies, which could be the cause of diarrhea in children.

This article was written by Yusuf Shuqrah Oluwadamilola, for healthomy.com

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