Food Borne Pathogens

Foodborne pathogens are mainly bacteria, viruses, or even parasites that are present in the food and are the cause of major diseases such as food poisoning. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), foodborne pathogens are categorized according to the specific foods that are consumed. Campylobacter sp. (mostly associated with raw or undercooked poultry) is the major foodborne pathogen in the U.S. food supply, causing more than two million infections per year, while Salmonella, mostly found in meat, poultry, and eggs, is responsible for more than one million cases of food poisoning. Shigella, Escherichia coli, Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium perfringens, Yersinia, Vibrio cholerae, V. vulnificus, V. parahaemolyticus, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus spp., and Listeria also cause foodborne disease. Several types of viruses cause significant damage to the human body such as rotaviruses, noroviruses, adenoviruses, hepatitis A viruses, and astroviruses. Parasites are another category of foodborne pathogens, the main ones being Cryptosporidium parvum, Cyclospora cayetanensis, Giardia lamblia, and Toxoplasma gondii, and of these, 71% of waterborne diseases are caused by G. lamblia and Cryptosporidium.


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