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CHAPTER 1, FOOD SAFETY
b.
Foodborne Infection:
(1) A foodborne infection is caused by the ingestion of food
containing pathogenic microorganisms (i.e bacteria, virus or parasite)
which must multiply with in the gastrointestinal tract, producing
widespread inflammation. The most commonly implicated microorganisms
include species of Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli 0157:H7, etc. These
infections have longer incubation periods than those experienced with food
intoxications, usually commencing from 6-24 hours or longer after
ingestion. Symptoms may include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, abdominal pain or distress, and prostration. The causative
organism may be identified by laboratory examination of the vomitus, feces,
or blood and the suspected food, when available.
(2) Foods most commonly incriminated in outbreaks of foodborne
infections are meat and seafood mixtures such as hash, hamburger, creamed
meat pies, crab, lobster, chicken, and turkey salads, turkey, turkey
stuffing or dressing, chicken, and ham.  These foods have common
characteristics in that they provide moisture, a good protein food supply
and warmth.  Given sufficient time, these factors promote an ideal
environment for the growth and multiplication of microorganisms.  It is
important to remember that these organisms do not necessarily cause any
alteration in the normal appearance, odor, or taste of the food.
c. Foodborne Intoxication:
(1) Certain bacteria under favorable growth conditions produce
chemicals (toxins) in food which when ingested will cause food
intoxication.  Enterotoxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus are heat
stable (i.e., not destroyed by normal cooking temperatures) and are the
cause of the most common foodborne  intoxication. The staphylococci
multiply in the food where they produce their toxins before the food is
consumed. It generally takes less than 8 hours for these organisms to
elaborate enough toxins to cause symptoms. The disease is characterized by
an abrupt onset (2 to 4 hours after ingestion) of symptoms of severe
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and prostration with little or no fever.
(2) Staphylococcal food intoxication usually follows ingestion of
starchy food, especially potato salad, custard and pies. When the offending
food is meat, pork (including ham and salami) and poultry products are
usually the source. Ham may become contaminated with staphylococci during
the practice of boning, slicing and holding without adequate refrigeration
for several hours before serving.  In addition, highly salted ham permits
staphylococcal growth but inhibits many other bacteria.  Other foods
commonly involved are canned or potted meat or fish, pressed tongue, beef,
cheese, other milk products, cream or custard filled pastries, potato
salad, and pasta salads.  The usual source of the pathogens, which cause
this form of food intoxication, may be the nose, throat, boils, pimples, or
infected cuts on the hands of food service personnel.
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