E. coli 0157:H7 is one of the hundreds of strains of E. coli normally found in the large intestine of animals. First recognized in the United States in 1982, E. coli 0157:H7 has been associated with several serious outbreaks in the United States and is most commonly linked to undercooked ground beef.
Salmonella is an intestinal bacterium that is commonly found on raw meats, poultry and in eggs, or in foods containing raw or undercooked milk or egg products. There are hundreds of Salmonella serotypes, and S. typhimurium and S. enteritidis are the most common. Salmonella bacteria can be killed by temperatures of 130ºF or higher for 2 hours, or at 165ºF for a few seconds. A person with Salmonellosis can transmit the disease to others for up to several days to several months via cross-contamination and inadequate handwashing after toilet use.
Listeriosis is a bacterial illness. Listeria is frequently found in soil, water and plant matter; and it has the ability to survive and grow in moist, cool locations such as refrigerators. Listeria is a common bacteria and is very difficult to eliminate. However, thorough cooking will destroy it. Listeriosis can be a severe illness for the old, very young and for people who are immuno-compromised.
Hepatitis A virus is a communicable disease that may be foodborne, but is also transmitted through person-to- person contact in settings such as daycare centers and hospitals by persons who do not adequately wash their hands after rest room use, and by consumption of raw or undercooked shellfish harvested from contaminated waters. In the foodservice industry, the primary controls for Hepatitis A are proper training and effective supervision of employees to ensure good hygienic practices, proper handwashing and safe handling of food and tableware.
Norwalk virus is usually associated with poor personal hygiene and contaminated soils or water. Because Norwalk is a virus, it does not grow or reproduce in food. However, when food is contaminated with the virus via hands, soil or water, it is not easily killed by cooking. Because viruses cannot be isolated readily or detected in contaminated food, preventive controls are extremely important.
Vibrio vulnificus is a common, naturally occurring bacterium that is present in coastal waters throughout the world. It is not the result of pollution and can be higher in concentration during the warmer months. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that 5-10% of all shellfish are contaminated with Vibrio vulnificus. Currently, there are no practical methods available to eliminate Vibrio vulnificus from coastal waters or from shellfish harvested from these waters. Most healthy adults are not at risk for Vibrio vulnificus illness and may not experience any symptoms or illness. However, the illness can be very severe in immuno- compromised individuals such as the young, the elderly and persons with liver disease.
Staphylococcal food poisoning is one of the most commonly reported illnesses in the United States. Staphylococcal poisoning is an intoxication; it is caused by toxins that are produced by the staph. bacteria. When a person consumes food that is contaminated with staph. toxins, that person becomes ill from the toxin, not the bacteria. Deaths are rare and the duration of the illness usually lasts only one or two days. However, sometimes the intensity and severity of the symptoms require hospitalization.
Shigellosis is a bacterial infection that is commonly referred to as dysentery. Implicated foods include contaminated raw produce and moist ready-to-eat foods such as potato, tuna, turkey and macaroni salads that have been mishandled during preparation by an infected person. Contaminated water has also been identified as a source of this illness.
Clostridium perfringens is widely distributed in the environment and frequently occurs in the intestines of humans and many domestic and feral animals. Spores of the organism persist in soil, sediments, and areas subject to human and animal fecal pollution.
Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobic, gram-positive, spore- forming rod that produces a toxin. The spores are heat resistant and can survive in foods that are incorrectly or minimally processed. Foodborne botulism is a severe type of food poisoning caused by the ingestion of foods containing the potent toxin formed during the growth of the organism.
Camplobacter jejuni is a microaerophilic organism, which means it has a requirement for reduced amount of oxygen. Surveys have shown that Campylobacter is the leading cause of bacterial diarrheal illness in the United States. It causes more disease than Shigella or Salmonella combined.
Bacillus cereus food poisoning is the general description, although two recognized types of illness are caused by two distinct metabolites. A large molecular weight portion causes the diarrheal type of illness, while the vomiting type of illness is believed to be caused by a heat stable peptide.