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Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness - Essay Example

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The paper "Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness" discusses that foodborne illnesses are usually the result of unsafe and unsanitary practices.  Food that has been exposed to possible contaminants must follow a strict protocol of sanitary measures, storage and transport.  …
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Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness
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Foodborne illnesses, or food poisoning, result from the consumption of food contaminated with pathogenic bacteria, viruses or parasites, as well as chemicals or natural toxins. These organisms or chemicals create an irritation in the gastrointestinal tract that is usually manifested by vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, fever and chills (National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 2012). Recent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses have forced us and the government to recognize careless practices and review the existing food safety regulations in effect.
The latest Salmonella outbreak that killed two people and affected 140 more in 20 states is a clear example of sloppy agricultural practices. The Salmonella strain was carried by cantaloupes from southwestern Indiana. The cantaloupe’s rough and porous skin is an easy target for bacteria that cling to its bumps on its surface. As they grow on the ground, it is also quite easy for them to pick up dirt and germs from the livestock manure (Szabo, 2012).
In North Carolina, Burch Farms discovered on July 28, that the cantaloupes they have shipped out on July 15 were contaminated with Listeria bacteria. Listeriosis is an important public health problem that usually affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with a weakened immune system. Those diagnosed with Listeriosis are usually with an invasive infection which means that the bacteria had spread beyond the gastrointestinal tract (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). Burch Farms, who supplies cantaloupes and honeydew melons to Hannaford Supermarkets, recalled their entire growing season produce for these two fruits (Flynn, 2012).
Some 120 people have fallen ill with Salmonella infection after eating in a local restaurant in Vancouver, Washington. All of the suspected patients have eaten in the On the Border Restaurant between the dates of September 20 to October 8. The restaurant closed voluntarily on October 15 pending the investigation of health authorities as to the cause of the outbreak. However, the case was closed with no clear resolution (News Desk, 2012).
One can always take a proactive stance in ensuring that foodborne illnesses are not acquired nor passed on. Read More
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