Food Poisoning, It’s Causes, Effect And Control

Project and Seminar Material for Food Science and Technology (FST)

Food Poisoning, It’s Causes, Effect And Control


In the environment, there are polluting substances that can cause adverse reactions in human beings when entering the body through different ways (ingestion, inhalation, injection, or absorption). The main pollutants can be poisons, chemical compounds, toxic gases, and bacterial toxins. These can be found in different places and their effects depend on the dose and exposure time.

Furthermore, food borne diseases (FBDs) can cause disability; these diseases can be caused by toxins produced by bacteria or other toxic substances in the food, which can cause severe diarrhea, toxic shock syndrome, debilitating infections such as meningitis and even death. FBDs are transmitted through food contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms that have multiple factors of virulence, which gives them the ability to cause an infection; some bacterial genres can produce toxins directly in the food, but other genres can produce them once they have colonized the intestine.

Among the pathogens involved in FBDs that are also considered to be toxigenic are Salmonella spp., Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio cholerae, Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium perfringens, Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocyto-genes. Food borne diseases can be prevented and acute diarrhea syndromes, fever and even death from dehydration can be avoided, especially in children under the age of 5 and in immune-compromised people.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background Of The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of The Problem
  • 1.3 Research Objectives

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.2 Epidemiology
  • 2.3 Risk Factors And Prevention Measures Associated With Food Poisoning
  • 2.4 Strategies For Disease Prevention
  • 2.5 Empirical Review

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Data And Sources
  • 3.3 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Analysis And Interpretation

  • 4.1 Food Poisoning And Food Spoilage Organisms
  • 4.2 Foodborne Diseases Caused By Bacterial Toxins
  • 4.3 Nutrient Contents

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Food poisoning might be described as a food borne diseases or food borne illness. Food that contains a toxin, chemical or infectious agent (like a bacterium, virus, parasite or prion) and causes symptoms in the body are considered types of food poisoning by most investigators.

Those symptoms may be related only to the gastrointestinal tract causing vomiting or diarrhea or may involve other organs such as the kidney, brain or muscle. (Charles, 2011).

Tribe et al., (2008) explains that food poisoning usually arises from improper handling, preparation or food storage. Good hygiene practice before, during and after food preparation can reduce the chances of contracting an illness. There is a consensus in the public health community that regular hand washing is one of the most effective defenses against the spread of food borne disease. The action of monitoring food to ensure that it will not cause food poisoning or diseases can also be caused by a large variety of toxins that affect the environment. Food borne illness can also be caused by substances like poisonous mushrooms or pathogenic microorganisms.

Tribe et al., (2008) further explains that bacteria are common cause of food borne illness. He further points out that in Nigeria during 2000, the individual bacteria involved were as follows.

  • Campylobacter jejumi 77.3%,
  • Salmonella 20.9%,
  • Esherichia coli 1.4% and
  • All other less than 0.1%.

In the past, bacterial infections were thought to be more preventive because few places had the capability to test for the particular agent.

Symptoms for bacterial infections are delayed because the bacteria need time to multiply. They are usually not seen until 12 – 72 hours or more after eating contaminated food.

Marases et al., (2007) highlighted that food poisoning/food borne diseases is caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated with bacteria, parasites or viruses. He further states that harmful chemicals can also cause food borne disease. If they have contaminated food during harvesting or processing. Food poisoning can cause symptoms which include diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration. Most food borne infections are undiagnosed and unreported, though the center for disease control and prevention estimates that every year, about 76 million people in the United States become ill from pathogens or disease causing substance in food, (Katon and Chessbrought 2000).

Joffe, et al., (2002) pointed out that harmful bacteria are the most common cause of food borne illness or food poisoning. Some bacteria may be present in foods when they are purchased. Raw foods are the most common sources of food poisoning because they are not sterile. Examples includes: raw meat and poultry that may have become contaminated during slaughter. Sea food may become contaminated during harvest or through processing. One in 10,000 eggs may be contaminated with salmonella spp inside the egg shall. Products such as spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, spronts and melons can become contaminated with Salmonella, Shigella or Esherichia coli. during growth or through processing and distribution. Contamination may also occur, during food preparation in a restaurant or at home kitchen.

Robert, et al., (2007) states that the most common contamination from handled food is by a group of viruses known as the Norwalls. Infected kitchen workers can contaminate a salad or sandwich as they prepare it, if they have the virus on their hands.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Food is a substance consisting of essential nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, lipid, minerals, vitamins, and condiment to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy to live. Some countries define food as a substance that is intended to be, or reasonably expected to be processed, partially processed, or unprocessed for consumption by humans. Major foods or foodstuffs are obtained through agriculture where only 4% of 250,000–300,000 are considered edible plant species, and only 150–200 are used by humans for cultivation (FAO, 1999) to intake, while milk, egg, meat, and fish are obtained from animals. Some cultures consume blood in the form of blood sausage or stews as jugged hare (Davidson, 2014).

Usually fruits are eaten raw whereas most of the vegetables and animal foods and foodstuffs are prepared through cooking which involve washing, cutting, trimming, and adding other foods or ingredients to make the foods tasty. Some foods are also manufactured as packaged foods such as prepared meat, fried fish, fruits pickling and juices, beverages, chocolate products, potato chips, etc., which involve salting, curing, curdling, drying, pickling, fermenting, and smoking to prepare these foods which are available in many restaurants and food shops, and usually consumed in most of the cultures.

However, sometimes these foods can be a cause of illness, even death due to possible contamination or adulteration. The WHO estimates that almost 1 in 10 people fall ill from eating contaminated foods and causes 420,000 deaths every year globally, where about 30% are children under the age of 5 (WHO, 2015a, 2015b). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), >250 known foodborne diseases caused by 31 microbial pathogens (bacteria, fungus, viruses, or parasites) and prions and 48 million people gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3000 die each year in the United States (CDC, 2016; Scallan et al., 2011a, 2011b).

The rampant use of chemicals in cultivation, farming, manufacturing, cooking, packaging, distribution, and sale are also another major concern for food poisoning that leads to serious health risks and life threatening long-term diseases such as cancer (WHO, 2015a—Fact sheet). Now food safety has become a global issue. This guided the researcher to carry out this study on causes, effects and control of food poisoning.

1.3 Research Objectives

The main aim of this study is to investigate the causes, effects and control of food poisoning.

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

Food itself is a medicine due to its wide variety of nutrients and phytochemicals, but it should be safer for better health. Safer food also saves lives. With every bite one is potentially exposed to illness from either microbiological or chemical contamination. Intake of contaminated food and therefore, diseases are an important cause of morbidity and mortality, and a significant impediment to socioeconomic development worldwide.

Globally, billions of people are at high risk of food borne diseases and millions fall ill every year. Many also die as a result of consuming unsafe food (WHO, 2016). Concerns about food safety have skyrocketed in more affluent societies. However, the real tragedy of foodborne diseases is vital in poor and middle economic zone. Uses of impure water for cleaning and processing of food, unhygienic food-production processes and handling, inappropriate
use of additives, preservatives, or chemicals, inadequate food storage infrastructure, and defective regulatory standards are the major contributors of foodborne diseases ranging from mild to debilitating and life threatening such as liver and kidney failure, neural disorders, paralysis, and cancers, including long period of absenteeism and premature death. The types, severity, and impacts of these illnesses are different through ages and diverse across regions, countries, and communities. Considerable differences were observed in the burden of foodborne diseases among the regions based on the child and adult mortality by WHO (FERG) and as reported in 2015, Africa (AFR, AFR D, and AFR E sub regions) have the highest burden of the foodborne diseases where the South-East Asian Regions are in second position (WHO, 2016).

According to the WHO (2016 reports) and FERG reports of 2015, for the global estimates, 31 foodborne hazards causing 32 diseases are included, 11 being diarrheal, 7 invasive infectious, 10 helminthes, and 3 chemical disease agents were responsible for 600 million illness and 420,000 deaths in 2010. Again 150 million illness and 175,000 deaths and 12 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs) were reported by WHO South-East Asian Regions in 2010. Out of 10 children, three children under 5 years of age were found to be suffering from diarrhea due to Enterotoxigenic E. coli (11 million cases), Enteropathogenic E. coli (7.3 million cases), and Campylobacter Spp. (7 million cases) in 2010 in the South-East Asian Regions (Fig. 11.3). So, foodborne disease is one of the major concerns in 21 century. It does not recognize borders. A local incident can quickly become an international emergency due to the speed and range of product distribution, impacting health, international relations and trade. For many living at or below the poverty line, foodborne illness perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Beyond the individual level, it affects the economic development, challenging the agricultural and food (export) industries including tourists.

Food contamination endangers billions of people at risk. Now global warming are forwarding this issue in a more complicated manner. Climatic factors influence the growth and survival of pathogens, as well as their transmission pathways (Jaykus et al., 2008). Higher ambient temperatures increase replication cycles of foodborne pathogens, and prolonged seasons may augment the opportunity for foodborne infections (Tirado and Schmidt, 2001).

5.2 Recommendation

Governments should raise food safety as a public health priority, by establishing effective food safety systems to ensure that food producers and suppliers, throughout the food chain, act responsibly and provide safe food to consumers.

Food contamination can occur at any stage of the manufacturing or distribution process, although the responsibility lies primarily with the producers. Nevertheless, a large part of the food borne diseases are caused by food that has been improperly prepared or handled at home, in food establishments, or in street markets.

It is a joint responsibility for consumers, traders, and governments to work together to implement regulations, enforce laws that support, increase, and sustain food safety.

Lastly, WHO’s basic principles for food safety that is widely known as “Five Keys to Safer Food” and that everyone should know all over the world to prevent the food borne diseases are as follows (WHO, 2016):

1. Keep clean
  • Thoroughly wash raw fruits and vegetables with tap water.
  • Keep clean hands, kitchen, and chopping board all times.
2. Separate raw and cooked food
  • Do not mix raw meat and ready-to-eat food.
  • Do not mix raw meat, fish, and raw vegetables.
3. Cook thoroughly
  • Thoroughly cook all meat, poultry, and seafood, especially shell fish.
  • Reheat all leftovers until they are steaming hot.
4. Keep food at safe temperatures
  • Refrigerate cooked food within 2 h of preparation.
  • Never defrost food at room temperature; defrost frozen food in the refrigerator, cold water, or in the microwave.
5. Use safe water and raw materials
  • Use safe drinking water for preparing food.
  • Check use-by dates and labels while buying packed food.

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