Be Aware of Food Borne Diseases

Do You Bare a  Food Borne Disease?

What is that?

However, most of the people all over the world experience one or more episodes of bone disease, without knowing that their illnesses are caused by foods. Food borne disease means and illness due to consumption of food.

How this happened?

These illnesses are caused by dangerous germs (microorganisms) and poisonous (toxic chemicals.)

This is a major problem not only in developing countries but also in developed countries. Infants, young children, elderly and the sick people are severely affected. Therefore, it affects the national economy, development and international trade.

Food can be contaminated by two ways,
1. Microorganisms
2. Chemicals

What are Microorganisms

Microorganisms are very small living things, so small that they cannot be seen in the naked eye. Bacteria viruses yeasts, moulds and parasites are all microorganisms.

There are three different type of microorganisms.

  1. Good microorganisms
  2. Bad microorganisms
  3. Dangerous microorganisms

The good microorganisms are useful. We prepare some foods (cheese, yoghurt ,beer and wine) using them. Some good microorganisms help to produce medicine (penicillin). Certain microbes  help to digest food in the gut.

Bad microorganisms or spoilage microorganisms do not usually make people sick. However, they cause our food to smell bad, taste horrible and look disgusting.

Most dangerous microorganisms do not change the appearance of the food. Therefore, this smell taste and appearance of the food are not good indicators of the quality of food. Dangerous microorganisms make people sick and even kill. They are,

  • Bacteria- Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter and E.coil O157:H7
  • Parasites - Giardia
  • Viruses - Hepatitis A, Norovirus

Dangerous microorganisms are mostly found in faeces, waste matter or excrement  eliminated from human and animals, soil and water,  rats, mice, insects and pests. These microbes are carried on hands wiping clothes and utensils special cutting boards. Slightest contact can transfer them to food and cause food borne diseases. The transfer of microbes from one surface to another is called contamination therefore microorganisms can spread through contaminated food and water.

What is the Relation for Microorganisms to Grow in Foods?

Because the food specially in meat, seafood, cooked rice, cooked pasta, milk, cheese and eggs ideal conditions for microbes to grow. Hence one bacterium can become 2 just in 15 minutes. This means that within 6 hours, bacterium can multiply to over 16 million. Some bacteria need to grow to  high levels to be harmful, while some needed very low numbers. However, viruses are not grown in food and water, these are  vehicles for transmission.

Symptoms of Food Borne disease

Now we discuss symptoms of food borne diseases. The commonest symptoms are stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms depend on the cause of the disease. Symptoms may occure very quickly after eating the food (most probably chemical poisons) or may take days even weeks to appear, For most food borne diseases symptoms occur 24 - 72 hours after the food has been eaten. It is estimated that 3% of cases of food borne cases can lead to long - term health problems.
Very secure diseases including cancer, arthritis and neurological disorders can be caused by contaminated foods therefore it is very e important to take medical advice

As mentioned earlier poisonous chemicals such as natural toxins, metals, environmental pollutants, chemicals used for treating animals improperly use pesticides chemicals used for cleaning and improperly used food additives cause food borne illnesses.

All over the world are doing their best to improve the safety of the food supply because food borne diseases remain a significant health issue in both developed and developing countries. World health organization plays the major role in this. Therefore, they introduce five keys to safer foods. Therefore, stop microorganisms growing in foods and making people sick by following five keys to safer foods.

Five Keys to Safer foods

Keep clean

  • Wash your hands before handling food and often during preparation.
  • Wash your hands after going to the toilet.
  • Wash and sanitize old surfaces and equipment used for food preparation.

Separate raw and cooked,

  • Separate raw meat, poultry and sea food from other foods.
  • Use separate equipment and utensils such as knives   and cutting boards for handling raw foods.
  • Store food in containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared foods.

Cook thoroughly

  • Cook food thoroughly, his personality meet, poultry,  egg and seafood.
  • Bring foods like soups and stews to boiling to make sure they have reached 70 'C. For meat and poultry, make sure that juices are clear, not pink. Ideally use a thermometer
  • Reheat cooked food thoroughly.

Keep food at safe temperature

  • Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  • Refrigerated promptly all cooked and perishable food (preferably below 5'C)
  • Keep cooked food piping hot (more than 60'C) prior to serving
  • Do not store food too long even in the refrigerator.
  • Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature.

Use safe water and raw materials

  • Use safe water or treat it make to safe,
  • Select fresh and wholesome foods.
  • Choose foods processed for safety, such as pasteurized milk.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables especially if eaten raw.
    • Do not use food beyond expiry date.


  1. Food safety -, An essential public health issue for the new millennium, WHO/SDE/PHE/FOS/99.4 WHO GENEVA 1999.

2. Baseline study of hazards and critical control points of street-  vended foods in Bdija-Market,  Ibadan Nigeria.

3. A guide to healthy food markets WHO.

    Related Video

What is the human microbiome?


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