Food intoxication

There are two types of food-borne illnesses namely: Food Intoxication and Food Infection. Food intoxication is caused by toxins formed in the food or by toxin-producing pathogens or bacteria.

The most common food intoxicants originate from bacteria. Certain plants and animals produce toxins. Bacteria grow on food andrelease toxins that cause illness in the person consuming the toxin-laden food or beverage.

Food-borne intoxications are caused due to-
1.Naturally occurring toxins in some foods including
*Endemic ascitis(Pyrrolizidinealkaloids)

2. Toxins produced by certain bacteria including
*Staphyloccal toxins

3. Toxins produced by some fungi including
*Fusarium toxins

4. Due to toxins produced by some algae like
*Planktonicdino flagellates

5. Due to food-borne chemical poisoning

Raw foods of animal origin are the most likely to be contaminated, specifically raw or undercooked meat and poultry, raw or lightly cooked eggs, unpasteurized (raw) milk, and raw shellfish. Fruits and vegetables also may get contaminated.

Bacteria constitute an important group of food-borne pathogens which are implicated in various food-borne diseases, resulting from both food infection and intoxication.

Food intoxication occurs when bacteria enter the intestinal tract and then start to produce the toxin in the intestine. Escherichia Coli is the most common example of bacteria naturally found in the intestinal tract and causes problem when fecal matter gets into the food or water supply. Undercooked meat is the most common source of E. Coli contamination because meat comes in contact with its intestinal tract during the butchering of a carcass.

Ingestion of a food product containing staphylococcal enterotoxin is the most common route of transmission. Foods involved are particularly those that come in contact with food handlers’ hands, either without subsequent cooking or with inadequate heating or refrigeration, such as pastries, custards, salad dressings, sandwiches, sliced meat and meat products, inadequately cured ham and salami, and in inadequately processed cheese.
Food intoxication

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