Saturday, November 16, 2019

Food intoxications

A wide variety of foods and food products derived from plants and animals support the growth of pathogenic and toxigenic bacteria, resulting in food-borne diseases such as food infection and food intoxication or poisoning which is a major public health problem globally.

Food intoxication is a form of food-borne illness caused by ingesting exotoxins made by organisms such as bacteria, fungi etc or by consuming the foods that are naturally toxic to humans and animals. Bacterial growth and toxin production in foods are influenced by various intrinsic (e.g. pH, moisture, redox potential, nutrients) and extrinsic (e.g. temperature) factors.

Toxins can cause food-borne diseases such as gastrointestinal and systemic disorders. Toxins, not bacteria, cause illness. Toxins may not alter the appearance, odor or flavor of food. Common kinds of bacteria that produce toxins include Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium botulinum.

The intoxication usually comes with an abrupt and violent onset of vomiting, nausea, cramps, and exhaustion, often accompanied by diarrhea and low-grade fever, and sometimes, low blood pressure. Symptoms occur between 1 to 8 hours after ingestion of enterotoxin, but usually between 2 to 4 hours.

In the case of Clostridium perfringens, illness is caused by toxins released in the gut when large numbers of vegetative cells are eaten.

Any person can get intoxication, which is widespread and relatively frequent. About 25% of U.S. population is carriers of Staphylococcus aureus.
Food intoxications
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