Saturday, August 13, 2011

Microbial Hazards

Microbial foodborne illness also commonly called ‘food poisoning’ is illness caused by eating food contaminated with specific types of microorganisms or toxins formed by these microorganisms.

Microorganisms pose the greatest safety challenges for all food establishments. Innovations in food processing and distribution systems create new opportunities for potential microbial hazards to become manifest and there is broad national and international consideration of how best to limit these hazards.

Microorganisms that are capable of causing illness are called ‘pathogenic’ microorganisms’ or simply ‘pathogens’.

Potential microbiological biological hazards in food include bacteria, toxins, viruses, protozoa and parasites.

Of the microbiological hazards, the most important are bacteria and they cause a large proportion (approximately 90%) of all foodborne illnesses.

The risks associated with microbial hazards vary greatly, ranging from quite mild symptoms of short duration to very severe life threatening illnesses.

Microbial hazards derive from contamination, survival or growth of the causative agents at any stage of the supply chains, and during preparation, cooking and post cooking handling in the preparation area.

About one-third of reported food-borne illnesses are caused by the enterotoxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus. Food poisoning usually result when food is not kept hot enough or cold enough to prevent growth of this microorganism.

Microbial hazards cause the greatest number of outbreaks of food-borne illness and are most difficult to control because they involve microorganisms.
Microbial Hazards

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