Pathogen: Bacteria: Virus: Parasite:

Toxin-Mediated Infections:
• According to the CDC, an estimated 76 million people experience foodborne illness each year in the
• For some 5000 people, the symptoms can be so severe as to cause death
• Most vulnerable are pregnant women, the very young, very old, malnourished people, and those with
weakened immune systems
• Not all microorganisms cause disease, those that do are called pathogens
• There are four types of microorganisms that can contaminate food and cause food-borne illness:
bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi
• These can be organized into two groups: spoilage microorganisms and pathogens
• Living, single-celled organisms. They are more commonly involved in foodborne illness than any
other microorganism or contaminant
• To grow and reproduce, bacteria need the following: Adequate time, Proper temperature, Ample
moisture, Food, Appropriate pH, The necessary level of oxygen
• Bacteria may be carried by a variety of means: food, water, humans, and insects
• Some can survive freezing
• Some form into spores, a change that protects the bacteria from unfavorable conditions
Consist of genetic material wrapped in an outer layer of protein
While a virus cannot reproduce outside of a living cell, once inside, it will reproduce more viruses
Viruses do not require a potentially hazardous food as a medium for transmission
They usually contaminate food through a food handler’s improper personal hygiene
They can also contaminate water supplies
Organisms that need to live in or an a host organism to survive
They are typically passed to humans through an animal host
They grow naturally in many animals, such as swine
They may be killed by proper freezing and cooking
Types of Foodborne Illness (page 665)
• Infections – result when pathogens grow in the intestines of someone who has eaten food
contaminated by those pathogens. Typically, the symptoms do not appear immediately.
• Intoxications – are caused by eating food containing poisonous toxins. A person does not need
to eat live microorganisms to become ill, just the toxins produced by them. Typically, the
symptoms appear quickly, within a few hours. Many toxins are not destroyed by cooking.
• Toxin-Mediated Infection – result from eating food that contains pathogens. These pathogens grow
in the intestines and produce toxins that can cause disease.
How Food Becomes Unsafe
• Time-temperature abuse
• Cross-contamination
• Poor personal hygiene
Potentially Hazardous Foods
Often moist, high in protein, and have a neutral or slightly acidic pH:
Milk and milk products
Sliced melons
Garlic and oil mixtures
Poultry, fish, beef, pork, lamb, eggs, shellfish
Sprouts and raw seeds
Baked or broiled potatoes
Cooked rice, beans, or other heat-treated plant foods
The Consumer’s Role in Food Safety
Clean – wash hands and surfaces often
Separate – don’t cross-contaminate
Cook – cook to proper temperatures
Chill – refrigerate promptly
Key Practices For Ensuring Food Safety
The Danger Zone – bacteria grows more rapidly at temperatures between 40 degrees and 140
To slow bacterial growth, refrigerate foods at 40 degrees or lower, or keep foods warm at 140 degree
or higher. Minimize time spent in the danger zone
Store food at their recommended temperatures, and follow handling instructions
Store food quickly
Cook food to its minimum safe internal temperature (while cooking can kill microorganisms, it
cannot destroy the toxins they may create)
Cool cooked food properly
Reheat food properly
Practicing good personal hygiene
Prevent cross-contamination