What are the main sources of bacterial contamination of food?

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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There are various sources of bacterial contamination. Some types are in food already (such as meats); must be cooked thoroughly to be safe. The amount can go way up if there are problems when the animal is slaughtered, as the meat can easily be contaminated with the animals feces. Food can also become contaminated during packaging, despite health regulations. Bacteria can be introduced while being prepared, from dirty hands, utensils, cutting boards and counter tops. Vegetables can be contaminated by soil or water whether you buy or grow your vegetables.

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versatilekamini | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Foods are contaminated by bacteria like E coli, salmonella and staph (staphylococcus aureus). These bacteria cause food poisoning. Undercooked red meat and undercooked poultry often contain harmful bacteria. Through cross contamination other foods, such as vegetables, may also contain these bacteria. Vegetables and foods that will be eaten raw such as lettuce, tomato and other salad items should be washed well before eating and should be kept away from raw meats. According to the Texas Agriculture Extension Service Staph is present in many wounds, and on the skin, and, in the respiratory passages of nearly half the human population.

Hands should be washed before eating. This is one way to prevent accidental contamination of food while cooking or eating. Food packaging plants must adhere to strict sanitation standards otherwise; they may become a source of contamination.

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rihannalee | eNotes Newbie

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is jewelry a form of physical and mircobiological contamination?

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mimi99 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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Bacterial food contamination

  • Clostridium botulinum Bacteria producing a toxin in food responsible for botulism, the deadly paralytic nerve illness
  • Escherichia coli. A leading cause of food contamination. Based on a 1999 estimate, 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year. The E. coli0157:H7 strain is found in ground beef, raw milk, chicken, vegetables, and fruit.
  • Salmonella typhimurium Salmonella contamination. can occur in meats, poultry, eggs or milk products
  • Shigella The most common food that these bacteria can contaminate include: salads (potato, chicken, seafood, vegetable), raw vegetables, milk and other dairy products, and meat products especially poultry.
  • Staphylococcus aureus. Can be found in custard or cream-filled baked goods, ham, poultry, eggs, potato salad, cream sauces, sandwich fillings.
  • Vibrio cholera. These bacteria cause the well-known disease cholera that has caused many outbreaks all over the world. It can be transmitted by water or food.
  • Vibrio vulnificus. Free-living ocean bacteria that can cause food borne illnesses from contaminated seafood. Especially dangerous in the warm weather months when eating shellfish that are undercooked or raw.
  • Spoiled milk is also mostly caused by bacteria such as Lactococcus cremorisor Enterobacter aero-genes, that cause the milk to form long white strands.
  • Water contamination is usually due to the presence of three bacteria, E. coli, Clostridium perfringens, and enterococci, the bacteria normally found in the feces of people and many animals.

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