June 18, 2024

Foodborne Illness is Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Foodborne illness is back to pre-pandemic levels for some pathogens, according to research published in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for the week of June 30, 2023. The incidences that were higher were infections caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Yersinia, Vibrio, and cyclopsora. Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, and Listeria illness levels did not change.   In other words, progress in reducing enteric infection levels was not observed in 2022. The report states that collaboration among food growers, processors, retail stores, restaurants, and regulators is needed to reduce pathogen contamination during poultry slaughter and to prevent contamination of leafy greens. During the pandemic, foodborne … [Read more...]

ICMSF Opinion on Coronavirus and Food Safety: Not a Hazard

The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) has released an opinion paper on the relationship of the novel coronavirus to food safety. In brief, the ICMSF opinion on coronavirus and food safety is: "SARS-CoV-2 should not be considered a food safety hazard since a true food safety hazard enters the human body with food via the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract, where it can infect organs/tissues elsewhere in the human body." SARS-CoV-2 is the technical term for the novel virus. COVID-19 is the name of the illness it cases. The "19" is used as an identifier since the virus was first discovered in 2019. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets and infects humans through the respiratory system. Many billions of meals have been consumed, and … [Read more...]

Factory Farming Increases the Risk of Pandemic Development

A study conducted at the University of Bath has found that factory farming increases the risk of pandemic development. Overuse of antibiotics, low genetic diversity, and a large number of animals increases the risk of animal pathogens transferring to humans. Viruses and bacteria that jump from animals to humans are called zoonotic diseases. Some zoonotic diseases include bird flu, Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli infections, swine flu, and novel coronavirus. Scientists investigated the evolution of Campylobacter jejuni, a bacteria that is carried by cattle. This pathogen causes is transferred to people who eat contaminated meat and poultry. It causes bloody diarrhea and cause serious illness in those with compromised immune systems and chronic illnesses. About 1 in 7 people … [Read more...]

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