We as humans have a complex love affair with food. Certain foods we feel are good for us can be the same ones we contract a foodborne pathogen from. Poorly washed fresh fruits and vegetables are most likely to be contaminated as well as meat and poultry. Not refrigerating foods at their proper temperature, cross contamination during food preparation, and cans and jars not being sealed properly are also culprits. Milk, cheese, and eggs are also guilty for making people sick. Gastroenteritis is caused by bacteria, parasites, food toxins, and viruses.
Here is the list of top food disease
E. Coli is found in unpasteurized milk and juice. It’s also found in undercooked ground beef and alfalfa sprouts. In most cases symptoms disappear in 5-10 days but in more extreme cases hospitalisation will be needed. E. Coli is located in the gut of animals. The strain E. Coli #0157:H7 is especially dangerous once consumed. This strain produces the deadly Shiga toxin which kills red blood cells. Once the cells have been killed off they begin to clog arteries in the body causing kidney failure and the muscles around the heart can become swollen.
Toxoplasma is caused by cysts that remain on food when not cooked properly. Undercooked foods and tainted water are the prime reason for foodborne illnesses. Toxoplasmosis causes flu-like symptoms, sore lymph nodes, headache, shivering, and cold chills.Transmission is caused by ingesting raw or undercooked meats. Reusing knives before washing, contaminated cutting boards, or poor hygiene. Washing hands thoroughly after handling raw meat is highly suggested. Hand scrubbing after gardening and cleaning litter boxes is also recommended.
Listeria scare is running rampant all over America. Costco, WalMart, and Trader Joe’s very recently started pulling would be contaminated products from grocery shelves. Frozen food manufacturers, notably ConAgra and Meijer are conducting mass voluntary food recalls. Right now we’re in the midst of the “CRF Frozen Food Recall” (1) Infections from listeria cause stillbirths and miscarriage. The very young and elderly populations should be extra careful. Kroger and TreeHouse Foods have also issued statements that they will also do a voluntary recall. The concern is whether or not some sunflower seeds that were sold at their stores might contain listeria. Listeria causes diarrhea, fever, body aches, muscle cramps, fatigue, confusion, muscle stiffness, and headaches.
Salmonella is mostly caused by ingesting contaminated eggs and poultry. Unwashed hands after using the restroom and handling feces when cleaning after pets can also transmit the disease. Pet lizards, turtles, and hamsters are common carriers of the disease. By making sure kids wash their hands after playing with their pets you can reduce the likelihood of catching the disease. Stomach cramps, fever, and extreme dehydration are known symptoms. The FDA cautions against eating raw batters such as cookie dough and cake batter after a salmonella outbreak occurred in the U.S.
Campylobacter jejuni, while it can be caused by handling kittens and puppies is mainly contracted from fecal to mouth. Fecal matter can be found in the meats of polluted poultry, cattle, and sheep. Campylobacter jejuni is a major concern for those with a compromised immune system. People with AIDS are known to be susceptible to bacterium. Bacterium is a condition in which bacteria causes an infection of the blood. This can shock the nervous system leading to toxic shock.
Shigella infections are the main cause of dysentery. Dysentery kills a million people every year and children are the most susceptible. This disease kills many, especially in Third World countries. Because of the frequency and severity of diarrhoea the body loses much of its fluids causing severe dehydration. In some cases, almost a liter of fluid per hour is lost. Once infected, Shigella multiplies itself within the host cells causing damage to the rectum. During the sickness patients experience fever, nausea, and pass unusually large stools. In the worst cases pus, blood, and mucus will pass with the stool.
Yersinia enterocolitis is found in contaminated pork, other meats, and milk. In worst cases Yersinia causes sepsis and focal infection. In mild to moderate cases, this food disease can self-limiting but symptoms can still be alarming. Bloody watery stools and symptoms that can “mimic” appendicitis are the most common ailments. Doctors run specific tests and when appendicitis is ruled out Yersinia is determined to be the most likely invader.
Botulism is mostly caused by canned foods which haven’t been sealed properly. Sardines, beets, jarred chopped garlic, corn, and green beans are especially vulnerable due to their low acid content. Giving honey to children under 1 year can also be harmful. Honey can contain botulism spores and infants immune systems are not yet ready to handle that type of infection. You can avoid contamination by canning and jarring foods properly and by following advised safety procedures. Side effects of Botulism are dry mouth, hard time swallowing, paralysis, drooping or sagging eyelids, blurred vision, and having a hard time speaking.
Vibrio Vulnificus is caused by consuming raw shellfish. Oysters and clam require special attention before eating. Doctors advise not eating shellfish that are raw or undercooked. Hepatitis A is a food disease of the liver that can be transmitted by eating uncooked shellfish. Symptoms include yellowing of skin or urine (jaundice), stomach pain, dizziness, and nausea. Right now Hepatitis A is fatal.
Bacillus cereus is an especially viral strain of food bacteria. It’s found in dirt and foods. It is important that gardeners and children wash hands well before eating or handling food. Stews, gravies, and fried rice are the most common ways of ingesting the harmful bacteria. Stomach pain, nausea, septicemia, and watery stool (diarrhea) are most common symptoms. While reheating food can sometimes inactivate different strains of bacteria, Bacillus cereus is resistant to high temperature reheating. Food would have to be reheated at a 121-degree temperature for over 10 hours before the bacteria is inactivated.
Some of the diseases above have lasting effects on the body long after exposure. Reactive arthritis, brain, and nerve damage can have lasting effects long after the illness has “run its course.” Wash and scrub fresh foods thoroughly. Always cook meats fully and use a meat thermometer when cooking. Don’t use the same cutting boards for meats and vegetables. Vegetables that come pre-washed should still be washed before eating. Never leave food sitting out. Bacteria love a warm moist environment to thrive in. Finally, the following foods should be handled with care.
Dirtiest Foods in your grocery store.
Cold Cuts (lunch meat)