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The a-Z of Food Safety

The a-Z of Food Safety

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Publicado porramesh

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Published by: ramesh on Oct 06, 2008
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08/30/2014

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Drinking water can become polluted in many ways – by sewage, a range of

chemical substances, insects and animals remains. In the same way, polluted

water can contaminate food if used, for example, in shellfish beds or for the

washing of fruit and raw vegetables. Water-borne infections include typhoid

fever, paratyphoid fever and dysentery.

Typhoid and paratyphoid fevers

The more severe water-borne infection, typhoid fever (or enteric fever), is caused

by the micro-organism, Salmonella typhyi, and still occurs in many countries

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where water treatment and purification systems are sparsely-located or inad-

equate. Salmonella typhihas a long incubation period (3 to 56 days) and is

responsible for many deaths. The micro-organism is excreted in the faeces of

patients and carriers, with up to 5% of the persons infected becoming carriers

for life and with the potential for relapses.

Symptoms include fever, severe diarrhoea, enlargement of the spleen and, in

some cases, rose-coloured spots on the body.

Paratyphoid, caused by Salmonella paratyphi, is less severe, with symptoms

comparable with typhoid fever.

Control strategies for preventing these infections include:

a)ensuring high standards of personal and structural cleanliness in the

handling and preparation of food;

b)strict control over the bacteriological quality of the water supply;

c)ensuring the prevention of cross contamination between water services

and sewage systems;

d)the installation and use of water closets connected to a main drainage

system;

e)careful control in cooking with particular reference to times and

temperatures for different classes of food;

f)exclusion of food handlers manifesting symptoms and/or who are, or

may be, carriers; and

g)well-managed infestation prevention and control procedures.

Shigella dysentery

Commonly known as bacillary dysentery, Shigella dysentery is caused by direct

transmission from person to person and outbreaks are associated with human

carriers of the disease. Water and food, however, frequently act as vehicles in

the chain of infection, particularly in areas where insanitary conditions prevail.

Shigella dysentery can be caused by four specific pathogenic micro-organ-

isms, Shigella sonnei, Shigella dysenteriae, Shigella flexneriand Shigella boydii.

The most serious symptoms are associated with infection by Shigella dysen-

teriaeand mortality rates can be high, particulary in the case of babies and young

children.

The incubation period varies from one to seven days, and infection can arise

from very low doses of the micro-organism. Illness is associated with the Shiga

toxin, a bacterial enzyme that affects the synthesis of protein in the body. The

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illness (Shigellosis) is spread through consumption of contaminated food or

via the faecal-oral route of an infected person.

Following infection, the bacterial cells invade the lining of the patient’s colon,

causing death of parts of the tissue and severe diarrhoea. This results in blood-

stained faeces in many cases. Vomiting and fever are also typical symptoms of

Shigellosis.

Preventive and control measures include emphasis on personal hygiene, strict

attention to the risk of direct or indirect faecal contamination, for instance by

flying insects, control over the purity of drinking water and the avoidance of

insanitary conditions.

Bacteria

Carriers of disease

Coliforms

Cross contamination

Direct contamination

Dysentery

Enzymes

Exclusion of food handlers

Faecal coliform

Fish and shellfish (food hazards)

Flying insect control

Incubation period

Infestation prevention and control

Personal hygiene

Sanitary conveniences

Structural requirements for food premises

Temperature control requirements

Toilets

Toxin

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