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.”

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Food Safety Biological Hazard

A biological hazards is an agent in food with potential to cause human illness. It is the most significant hazards in our food.

Biological hazards involve mainly living organisms, implying strong growth, no growth or death depending on the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of the food matrix.

Intrinsic factors are mainly related to the structure and composition of the foodstuff, while extrinsic factors are related to some environmental parameters that affect the food.

Biological hazards include disease-causing micro-organisms, certain plants and fish that carry toxins (poisonous). Or it can be referred to as microbial contaminants, microorganisms or pathogens.

Once a biological hazard is in the food, it may be very hard to kill or control.

It should ne noted that biological hazards pose the greatest public health threat at the pre-harvest stage since the chemical and physical hazards do not reproduce and increase in the food and in the environment with time, as do microbiological hazards.

Some micro-organisms can survive freezing temperatures. Bacteria and the toxins they produce do not have an odor or taste to help you detect them. Bacteria can be a silent killer in foods.

Some bacteria produce spores. Spores are thick-walled, protective structures that allow bacteria to survive cooking, freezing temperatures, and some sanitizing mixtures.

Microorganisms grow when they have the right nutrients and conditions for growth. Bacteria need these conditions to grow:

Food
High protein foods are often contaminated at the time of purchase. Using safe food practices destroys the bacteria. Acidity: bacteria prefer low-acid environments. Some bacteria do survive an acidic environment.

Bacteria use an enormous range include various sugars and either carbohydrates, amino acids, sterols, alcohols, hydrocarbons, inorganic salts and carbon dioxide.

Time
Potentially hazardous foods should not remain in the danger zone for more than four hours during the entire food handling process.

Temperature
The temperature danger zone is 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F.

Oxygen
Many bacteria grow bets in the present of oxygen (aerobic organism). Some bacteria grow without oxygen- anaerobic. However, both types of bacteria cause foodborne illness.

Others grow equally well under either aerobic or anaerobic conditions.

Moisture
Bacteria grow best in a moist environment.
A high proportion of the mass of a bacterium is water, and during growth, nutrients and waste products enter and leave the cell. Bacteria can grow only in or on materials which have adequate free or available water.

pH
Most bacteria grow best at near pH7 (neutral), and the majority cannot grow under strongly acidic or strongly alkaline solution.
Food Safety Biological Hazard

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