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How Pathogens Spread Foodborne Illnesses

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three pathogens namely Salmonella, Listeria and Toxoplasma cause 1,500 out of the 5,000 foodborne illnesses and deaths yearly.

What are pathogens? And what are foodborne illnesses? Do they have any symptoms and can they be prevented? This article tries to gain further insight into these questions.

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What are Foodborne Illnesses and Pathogens? Bacteria as an organism are present everywhere. Some are useful, while others are harmful. Harmful bacteria cause disease. This is called a pathogen. When these pathogens attack the food items we consume, foodborne illnesses take place. Pregnant women, infants, old people and people suffering from complications like diabetes, high blood pressure etc are prone to an attack of pathogens because their immune systems are weak and sensitive.

Statistics of Foodborne Illnesses:

  • 76 million americans get affected per year by these diseases.
  • 3,25,000 hospitalizations takes place.
  • 5,000 deaths are registered because of this ailment.
  • Known Pathogens cause 14 million infections and 1,800 deaths.

Symptoms of Foodborne Illnesses:

S.No. Pathogens Symptoms Duration
1. Salmonella Headache, Fever, Cough, Vomitting, Constipation, Abdominal Pain, Chills and Bloody Stools 7-28 days
2. Toxoplasma Rash, Myalgia, Fever and Headache 10-13 days
3. Listeria Swollen Lymph nodes, Joint Ache, Chills, Fever and Prostration Periods Vary

For a complete list of pathogens and symptoms, visit: SOURCE

Pitfalls and Preventions for Foodborne Illnesses: The best temperature for pathogens to grow is between 40 °F and 140 °F. That is why you should store food items in the refrigerator below 40 °F. Cook food, especially meat items above 140 °F. It is a good habit to eat cooked food from the previous day by heating it to kill pathogens. If a food item is found to be suspect, it can be wrapped properly and labeled “DANGER”. Also, note the food item, date, time of consumption, and the time of onset of the symptoms. This information will turnout to be handy when seeking treatment from a doctor.

For further information, visit: ORIGINAL SOURCE

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