Food poisoning is a very common
illness that can happen to anyone and anywhere in the world. Various bacteria, virus or
parasites could cause food poisoning in human beings. In 2012, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released data on the major food borne
diseases that affected the US population. The most common were the following.
Bareilly or Salmonella
Nchanga that was found in raw scraped ground tuna.
Enteritidis that was found in ground beef.
Bredeney that was mostly seen in peanut butter.
• Listeria monocytogenes
mainly present in ricotta salata cheese.
• E coli
O26 seen in raw clover sprouts.
Braenderup present in mangoes.
Infantis mainly present in dry dog food.
Salmonella Bareilly or Salmonella Nchanga:
Most people who suffered from this pathogen had
consumed sushi made out of raw tuna. The salmonella bacteria are more commonly
found in raw foods. If the same is not cooked properly under right temperature
then this organism easily affects one. Always cook the food properly before
consuming in order to prevent Salmonella infection.
Enteritidis (SE): This is a group
consisting of potentially every other serotype (over a thousand) of the Salmonella
bacteria, most of which have never been found in humans. These are encountered
in various Salmonella
species; most having never been linked to a
specific host, but can also infect humans. It is therefore a zoonotic disease.
The organism enters through the digestive tract and when ingested in large
numbers causes disease in healthy adults. Gastric acidity is responsible for
the destruction of the majority of ingested bacteria. This is more commonly
found in beef. People who consumed beef in large quantity generally suffered
from this disorder. Incidentally, the State of California Department of Health
Services reported an outbreak of SE infections associated with consumption of
contaminated eggs in 1990s.
Peanut butter is widely used by every group of
people in every society, especially the school going children. It is important
to check the manufacture date and the expiry date needs before buying this
product as this is a growth zone for the Salmonella Bredeney type of organism
in the food. It is the third most common serotype that is found to affect the
human population. As with other Salmonella infections, children under the age
of 10 years, older adults, and people with weak immune systems are at a higher
risk for this infection.
Listeria monocytogenes: Listeria
is the bacterium that causes the infection listeriosis. It is
a facultative anaerobic bacterium, which means it is capable of surviving in
the presence of oxygen but can also survive when oxygen is insufficient for
respiration. It can grow and reproduce inside the host's cells and is one of
the most virulent food-borne pathogens, with 20 to 30 percent of clinical
infections resulting in death. It is most commonly found in ricotta salata
cheese. Pregnant mothers are advised not to consume this cheese as this
pathogen has the ability to cause meningitis in newborn.
E coli O26:
The Escherichia coli O26 is the pathogen most commonly
found in raw clover sprouts that is used to make sandwiches. When not cleaned
properly this sprout has the ability to infect human beings causing various
symptoms that need medical attention. These symptoms are often self-limiting.
This serotype of Salmonella outbreak was associated
with infected mangoes from Agricola Daniella, a mango supplier with multiple
farms and a single packing house located in Sinaloa, Mexico. The trees
producing mangoes were infected thereby producing infected mangoes that
affected the intestine. No deaths occurred because of this infection.
Human Salmonella Infantis:
Pet dogs are commonly fed with the commercially
produced dog foods available from the market. These foods could be affected
with Salmonella and when proper hand hygiene is not maintained after touching
these foods, it in turn affects the humans, especially children, who are less
cautious about washing hands. Washing hands thoroughly after contact with dog
food prevents infection.
By following all the precautions one can prevent
contacting these diseases in 2013. Let this year be a disease free year.