What Is Food Contamination?


Author: Artie
Published: 6 Nov 2021

Food Contamination: A Consumer's Perspective

Food can be contaminated by physical, chemical, biological or cross-contamination incidents. Food poisoning can be serious and therefore it must be handled seriously. Food contamination can be physical, biological or chemical.

Food can be contaminated when it is not cooked properly, stored properly or handled in a sanitary manner. Symptoms of food poisoning can be unpleasant and sometimes serious. Food should be avoided as much as possible.

To avoid physicalContamination of food, ensure that those handling food have their hair tied back, no jewellery on, their hands washed thoroughly, gloves on, and if they are wearing a plaster. If a piece of glass or plastic breaks in the kitchen, all the surrounding food must be thrown out. Humans can be colonized by the same organisms on raw meat, the human body, and the air.

The ideal growth conditions allow the bacteria to multiply. Contamination of food by a chemical product can be serious. It is important to be aware of the different chemicals that come into contact with food.

In November of last year, the United Kingdom's largest discount store, Aldi, published a statement to customers regarding a food scare. Food hygiene officials discovered that the frozen berries used by the US company Wawona Frozen Foods could be contaminated with the disease. The frozen berries that Wawonand Aldi recalled were not contaminated in the UK as they use a different supplier.

Food poisoning

The most common types of food poisoning include salmonella, E.coli, listeria and Noroviruses, and are caused by the two most common causes of biological contamination,bacteria andviruses. The best way to prevent against the spread of disease is to wash your hands and clean your equipment. A person can be injured by accidentally consuming a foreign object.

The risk of carrying biologicalContamination is associated with the physicalContamination. Pesticides can be transferred from the soil to the food at any time during the food process, whether it's during the manufacturing process or during the growing process. Chemicals should be stored separately from food to protect against chemicalContamination.

Preservatives and Food Degradation

Preservatives are essential to avoid food degradation. Synthetic Preservatives are harmful for human health and the environment. It is of interest to the food industries to replace the synthetic preservatives with natural, botanical, and safe ones.

The use of essential oils of aromatic plants as a natural and safe food preservation has the ability to prevent food degradation and food contamination. There are many possible scenarios where food may be contaminated. Food products can become contaminated at any point in the production, processing, shipping, and distribution process.

Intentional Food Contamination

Intentional food and product contamination is a growing global concern. Intentional food contamination is the deliberate addition of a harmful or poisonous substance to food products. Food fraud is a criminal act.

Cross-contamination: a new class of cross contamination

Cross-contamination is the transfer of contaminants from one surface to another, usually due to improper handling procedures. The term refers to the transfer of pollutants from a surface to a food. Cross-contamination can be physical or chemical.

Food poisoning can happen when disease-causing germs spread to food and are eaten. Small organisms that can split and grow quickly. One single-cellbacteria can grow to two million in seven hours.

Noroviruses: The World Bank Report on Food Safety

Noroviruses can cause nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhoea and abdominal pain. The disease can be caused by the hepatitis A virus and can be spread through seafood or produce. Food handler infections are the most common source of food contamination.

Some parasites are only transmitted through food. Tapeworms like Echinococcus spp, or Taenia solium, can be infectious through food or direct contact with animals. Water or soil can be used to enter the food chain and cause diseases.

The World Bank report states that the total productivity loss associated with the diseases is estimated to be 95.2 billion dollars per year, and the annual cost of treating the diseases is estimated to be 15 billion dollars. Unsafe food can endanger everyone. Babies, young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with an underlying illness are vulnerable.

There are 220 million children who contract diseases and 96 000 who die. The most vulnerable people are at risk of being affected by a vicious cycle of diarrhoeand malnutrition. The International Conference on Food Safety held in Ethiopia in February of this year and the International Forum on Food Safety and Trade held in Switzerland in the year of 2019.

Governments should make food safety a priority as they play a key role in developing policies and regulatory frameworks. Food can become contaminated at any point in the production and distribution of food, and the primary responsibility lies with food producers. Food service establishments and markets are where a large amount of the foodborne disease incidents are caused.

Detecting contaminants in food by means of Chromatography

One of the life science applications of chromatography is identifying contaminants in food, which is one of the requirements before food can be sold in the market. The FDA requires laboratories to inspect food items because they can be very fine particles that the human eye can't see. The long-term health effects of consumption have been researched by labs.

Why preventing food contamination is so important

That's why preventing food contamination is so important. Before you can prevent it, you have to understand how things can affect food. Food can be introduced to contaminated food.

Cross-contamination is the transfer of contaminants from one person to another. Four common sources of cross-contamination are clothing, utensils, food handler and pests. There are physical contaminants that can cause choking, cutting, or broken teeth.

Even if a customer is not injured or ill, finding something in their food can be very distressing. There are toxins from animals like fish and shellfish. Many toxins are more heat- resistant than the ones made by the bacterium, so they need more stringent precautions to keep them from building.

Risk Maps for Food Companies

Market pressure on food companies has increased due to globalization and increasing legislative complexity. Risk-based management frameworks are needed to prevent notable losses and protect reputations and licenses to operate. Product quality risk is one of the main vulnerabilities in the production and global supply chain.

A series of scandals have hit the food industry in the past years, causing product recalls and damaging reputation. Statistics show that the number of cases of food poisoning has increased. Risk maps give an immediate overview of the company portfolio and its risk level, the assessment can be replicated periodically, and the map allows analysis of the performance trend.

New technologies and procedures, worsening performance due to portfolio expansion in less regulated countries, and acquisition of activities with risk management measures that are still embryonic are examples. Food contamination has a strong impact on the community and public opinion. Baby food is even more sensitive.

If not detected, such events may cause irreversible damage. Large manufacturing and retail players must prevent acts that could cause harm to public health or compromise their reputation. It can be difficult and costly to strengthen security measures within a complex organization.

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