About Food Safety

Food safety can be defined as the “the avoidance of food borne pathogens, chemical toxicants and physical hazards, but also includes issues of nutrition, food quality and education.” The focus is on “microbial, chemical or physical hazards from substances than can cause adverse consequences.”

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Foodborne botulism

Clostridium species cause a variety of diseases including food poisoning, neurological disorder, gas gangrene and food spoilage. Clostridium is extremely widespread in soil, dust and on the surface of many foods.

Clostridium botulinum is the most important pathogen of this genus and it produces a potent heat-labile botulinum neurotoxin. The toxin is responsible for the disease, botulism, which occurs in humans and animals and is considered an agent for bioterrorism.

Botulism presents as a progressive, descending, symmetric weakness or paralysis. It invariably begins with cranial nerve palsies, including dilated or nonreactive pupils in 50%.

The global epidemiology of foodborne botulism has been shape by regional diet and soil ecology. Perhaps any food can caused botulism if it is contaminated with a neurotoxigenic clostridium, processed and stored under permissive conditions.

The consumption of as little as 0.1 g of food in which C. botulinum or other neurotoxin producing clostridia have grown can result in botulism. Fatality rate is approximately 10% of cases; this is very high for a foodborne illness.

Food botulism accounts for approximately 1000 cases per year worldwide, of which approximately 30 occurs in the United States. Home processed foods account for 94% of United States cases.
Foodborne botulism

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