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These Are The Common Foodborne Diseases You Must Know About

Food is very important for us to live. However, it is equally important to know that viruses, parasites and toxins can attack your body through contaminated food. There are almost 250 forms of food poisoning that can be detrimental to your health. No better day than World Food Safety Day to discuss the causes and prevention of foodborne diseases.

List Of Three Common Pathogens That Are Mostly Responsible For Foodborne Diseases

Norovirus

Norovirus or the Norwalk virus is one of the common pathogens to induce food poisoning. The virus is highly contagious, so it can easily get transferred to other people through cross-contamination of food or drinks. Norovirus is even resistant to hot temperatures and disinfectants with chlorine or alcohol.

Prevention

  • Wash hands with warm water for 20 seconds before preparing food.
  • Use a beach-based cleaner to disinfect food preparation equipment.
  • Cook oysters and shellfish thoroughly before eating them.

E.coli

Most of the strains of E.coli bacteria are harmless. However, E.coli or Escherichia coli bacteria produces a toxin called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) that is responsible for severe complications such as kidney failure, diarrhoea and even death. E. coli is found mainly in soft cheese made from raw milk, raw fruits and vegetables and unpasteurized milk and juice.

Prevention

  • Avoid cross-contamination of foods.
  • Avoid the consumption of high-risk foods.
  • While cooking meat, make sure that the meat has reached a safe internal temperature and let it rest for three minutes after switching off the heat source.
  • Wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly before using them.

Listeria

Listeria or Listeriosis is one of the rarest but lethal pathogens. Listeriosis is caused by eating listeria contaminated food, the name of bacteria found in soil, water and animals, including poultry and cattle. Listeria is found mostly in raw milk, dairy products, refrigerated seafood and raw sprouts. As the bacteria grow in cold temperatures, cooking and pasteurization are the only ways to kill them.

Prevention

  • Avoid consuming unpasteurized dairy products.
  • Keep uncooked poultry, meats and seafood separate from vegetables, fruits and cooked foods.
  • While cooking meat or seafood, make sure that the meat has reached a safe internal temperature and let it rest for three minutes after switching off the heat source.
  • Consume ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.

Symptoms of foodborne illness

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting (typically lasting for a week)
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Joint/backaches
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach flu
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