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Foodborne Illness

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CDC estimates that each year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness,128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. Researchers have identified more than 250 foodborne diseases and most of them are infections, caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Harmful toxins and chemicals also can contaminate foods and cause foodborne illness. The common causes of foodborne disease are nausea, vomiting,stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Everyone can possible get foodborne disease especially those groups who are:

A. Adults 65 and older are at a higher risk for hospitalization and death from foodborne illness. This increased risk of foodborne illness is because our organs and body systems go through changes as we age. These changes include: The gastrointestinal tract holds on to food for a longer period of time, allowing bacteria to grow. The liver and kidneys may not properly rid our bodies of foreign bacteria and toxins. The stomach may not produce enough acid. The acidity helps to reduce the number of bacteria in our intestinal tract. Without proper amounts of acid, there is an increased risk of bacterial growth.Underlying chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cancer, may also increase a person’s risk of foodborne illness.

B. Children under the age of five Children under the age of five are at an increased risk for foodborne illness and related health complications because their immune systems are still developing. Young children with developing immune systems cannot fight off infections as well as adults can. Additionally, young children produce less stomach acid that kills harmful bacteria, making it easier for them to get sick. Food poisoning can be particularly dangerous for young children because with food poisoning often comes diarrhea.

Since children’s bodies are small, they can quickly lose a lot of body fluid causing dehydration. According to the CDC, children younger than five have the highest incidence rates of any age group of Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. Coli 0157, E. Coli non-0157, Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia infection.

C. HIV/AIDS Patients People living with HIV/AIDS are especially susceptible to the following foodborne pathogens: Listeria, monoctyogenes, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Mycobacterium avium-complex.

Some conditions related to HIV/AIDS and its treatment (including, wasting, diarrhea, and lipid abnormalities) mean that you are susceptible to many types of infections. Individuals living with HIV or AIDS may be subject to lengthier illnesses and hospitalization. Safe food handling is crucial to prevent infections brought on by disease-causing bacteria and other pathogens in food and water.

D. Diabetes Patients Cardiovascular disease , kidney problems and diabetes also affects the immune system.These affects leave diabetes patients more prone to infectious disease, such as foodborne illness. A diabetic patient’s immune system may not immediately recognize harmful foodborne pathogens increasing a person’s risk for infection.

1. Glucose Level High glucose levels suppress the function of white blood cells that fight off infection, increasing one’s risk of contracting a foodborne illness. If someone with diabetes contracts a foodborne illness, their blood glucose levels may be affected because the illness impacts what and how much the person can eat.

2.Gastrointestinal Tract Diabetes may cause the stomach to produce low amounts of digestive acid. In addition, nerves may not move food through the GI tract as quickly as in non-diabetic persons. When the stomach holds on to food longer than necessary, bacteria start to multiply. If the amount of unhealthy bacteria in the stomach gets too high, it can lead to foodborne illness.

3. Kidney Kidneys usually work to cleanse the body. For many diabetes patients, their kidneys may not function properly, giving unhealthy bacteria the opportunity to grow out of control.

E. Pregnant Women Pregnant woman’s immune system is reduced. This places her and her unborn baby at increased risk of contracting the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause foodborne illness. Foodborne illnesses can be worse during pregnancy and may lead to miscarriage or premature delivery. Maternal foodborne illness can also lead to death or severe health problems in newborn babies. Some foodborne illnesses, such as Listeria and Toxoplasma gondii, can infect the fetus even if the mother does not feel sick.

F. Cancer Patients. Cancer patients are at a greater risk of suffering from a foodborne illness because of their weakened immune systems. Cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy, weaken the body’s immune system by affecting the blood cells that protect against disease and germs. This condition is known as neutropenia. As a result, their body cannot fight infection, foreign substances, and disease, as well as a healthy person’s body can. Because of this higher risk, people with cancer or those preparing food for them must practice proper food-handling techniques to kill pathogens and avoid cross-contamination.Foodborne illness, which is caused by eating food that contains harmful bacteria, parasites, or viruses, can be severe and sometimes deadly.

G. Food Safety for Home Delivered Meals Many people receive home delivered meals from churches, social organizations, senior assistance groups, or healthcare organizations. Hot or cold ready-prepared meals are perishable and can cause illness when mishandled. Proper handling is essential to ensure the food is safe to eat. Leaving food out too long at room temperature can cause bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella,E.coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter) to grow to dangerous levels that can cause illness. H. Autoimmune Disease People with autoimmune disease are at a higher risk of foodborne illnesses because their immune systems are compromised and inadequate to fight off infection.

With an autoimmune disease, the immune system is compromised either by the disease or by medicine taken to manage the disease. No matter what the reason for the compromised immune system, individuals with autoimmune disease are at an increased risk for foodborne illnesses.

Common Types of Auto immune Diseases and Risk of Foodborne iIIness

1. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) As treatment for Multiple Sclerosis involves steroids and immunosuppressive drugs, patients are at increased risk for foodborne infection. However, besides toxoplasmosis, there are few scientific reports of foodborne infection but this does not mean that MS patients should not take food safety precautions.

2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Treatment for IBD includes immunosuppressant, steroids, and biological therapies all of which increase susceptibility to foodborne illness. Patients taking two or more drugs are at even higher risk of foodborne illness.Infections associated with immunosuppressant therapy in IBD patients include Salmonella, Listeria monocytogens, and Toxoplasma gondii.

3. Lupus The use of corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive agents in the treatment of SLE increases the risk of contracting foodborne illness. Patients under immunosuppressive therapy have been shown to more easily contract Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Toxoplasma gondii, and E. coli. In SLE patients with severe infections the most frequently identified pathogen was E. coli. The top five germs that cause illnesses from food eaten in the united states are:

A. Norovirus Norovirus is a very contagious virus that can infect anyone. You can get it from an infected person,contaminated food or water ,or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed. This leads you to have stomach pain,nausea,and diarrhea and to throw up. These symptoms can be serious for some people,especially young children and older adults.

B. Salmonella CDC estimates Salmonella causes about 1. 2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year. Food is the source for about 1 million of these illnesses.Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized.

C. Clostridium Clostridium perfringens is one of the most common types of foodborne illness in the United States. CDC estimates it causes nearly 1 million cases of foodborne illness each year. It is a positive bacterium that is found on many environmental sources as well in the intestines of humans and animals.Perfringens is commonly found on raw meat and poultry.

D. Camplyobacter Campylobacter causes an estimated 1. 3 million illnesses each year in the United States and most illnesses likely occur due to eating raw or undercooked poultry. It is due to contaminated water,contact with animals, or drinking raw (unpasteurized) milk. People with Camplyobacter infection usually recover on their own,some need medical treatment E. Staphylococcus aureus Staphylococcal food poisoning is a gastrointestinal illness caused by eating foods contaminated with toxins produced by the bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus.

Staph is found on the skin and in the nose of about 25% of healthy people and animals. It usually does not cause illness in healthy people,but Staph has the ability to make toxins that can cause food poisoning . Safety tips for those at increased risk of foodborne illness. Those living with autoimmune diseases should always follow the four steps:

1. Clean – Wash hands and surfaces often, Illness-causing bacteria can survive in many places around kitchen, including hands, utensils, and cutting boards. Unless you wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces the right way, you could spread bacteria to your food, and your family.

2. Seperate- Separate raw meat and poultry from ready-to-eat foods,placing ready to eat food on a surface that held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs can spread bacteria and make you sick. But stopping cross-contamination is simple.

3. Cook- Cook food to the right temperatures,cooked food is safe only after it’s been heated to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Color and texture alone won’t tell you whether your food is done. Instead, use a food thermometer to be sure.

4. Chill – Chill raw meat and poultry as well as cooked leftovers promptly (within 2 hours),cold temperatures slow the growth of illness causing bacteria.So it’s important to chill food promptly and properly. 2. Modernize Inspection Systems, Policies, and the Use of Scientific Approaches The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) 2017–2021 Strategic Plan builds on prior successes and reflects emerging issues that FSIS faces in ensuring that the food products regulate are safe to eat. By using cutting-edge yet practical science, enhanced data capabilities, and our employees’ skills and expertise, we will continue to modernize and be more effective in meeting our public health mission.

In addition to establishing a clear foundation for our long-range and day-to-day operations, the Plan positions the agency to anticipate future needs and challenges. 3. Achieve Operational Excellence Achieve Operational Excellence pinpoints key areas that is seek improvement in how do business better support achieving the first two goals and overall mission. Its outcomes focus on recruiting, engaging, and training the workforce, and on improving the processes and services through several objectives.

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