Foodborne pathogens are simply defined as germs such as bacteria, fungi or many other parasites that are present in contaminated food causing illness such as diarrhea, food poisoning or may cause death.
There are different foodborne pathogens such as E. coli, Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella etc. Campylobacter is considered as the second most common foodborne pathogen.
Growth of pathogen
Mainly temperature, humidity and nature of medium affect the growth of pathogen. Neutral to slightly acidic medium is normally suitable for bacterial growth. Commonly bacteria grow rapidly at 41oF to 135o F. This range is considered as danger zone.
Health Agency Reports
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), diarrhea is acute form of foodborne diseases. And some other serious damages include nervous disorders, liver damage, kidney failure, cancer or even death.
People with compromised immune system are mostly are at risk. Pregnant women, older aged people and young children are more susceptible to the infection.
According to the FDA report 2020, there are approximately 48 million cases of foodborne diseases are reported each year. People become ill by consuming food contaminated with bacterial toxins, fungi and chemical. When there is an outbreak of foodborne illness comes, then FDA agency’s (CORE) Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) Network works with state and establish control measure strategies.
- We can be prevented from foodborne pathogen by avoid eating undercooked food, meat and avoid drinking unpasteurized milk.
- Before eating fruits and vegetables we should wash them without peeling them off.
- In this way we can protect our food from invasion of various toxins, chemical etc.
Authors: Ayesha Ahmed, Ali Virk
Department of Parasitology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad