SafeFood Lesson 1 Page 8

Introduction Lesson 1
What's
bugging
you?
Lesson 2
What are
Consumer
Control
Points?
Lesson 3
Where is the
DANGER
ZONE?
Lesson 4
Who is
FAT TOM?

Contact
Glossary
References


See also:

Common Foodborne Pathogens

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Lesson One: Whats Bugging You? Lesson Two: What are Consumer Control Points? Lesson Three: Where is the Danger Zone? Lesson Four: Who is FAT TOM? Glossary of Terms Food Safety References Contact the Food Safety Project Team

Lesson One: What's bugging you?
(continued)


What are the most common foodborne pathogens?
This alphabetical listing of some pathogens describes their characteristics.
Bacillus cereus

I llness:

Illness caused by bacterial intoxication

Incubation
period:

1/2 hour

Symptoms:

Watery diarrhea abdominal cramps and pain

Foods Implicated:

Cooked rice, corn and potatoes

Steps for
prevention:

Avoid temperature abuse, cook and hold food at proper temperatures; cool properly
 
 
Botulism

I llness:

Toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria

Incubation
period:

12 to 36 hours

Symptoms:

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,fatigue, headache, dry mouth, double vision, muscle paralysis, respiratory failure

Foods Implicated:

Low-acid, improperly canned foods, temperature abused vegetables, meats, sausage, fish

Steps for
prevention:

Properly preserve foods following recommended procedures; cook foods thoroughly
 
Clostridium perfringens

Illness: Toxin mediated bacterial infection
Incubation period: 8 to 24 hours
Symptoms: Diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, chills
Foods Implicated: Meat, poultry, and other foods held for serving at warm, but not hot, temperatures
Steps for prevention: Cool foods rapidly after cooking; hold hot foods above 140 degrees F
 
Campylobacter jejuni
Illness:

Bacterial infection, even with low numbers of cells
Incubation period:

One to seven days
Symptoms:

Nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, headache - varying in severity
Foods Implicated:

Poultry and contaminated water
Steps for prevention:

Cook foods properly; prevent cross-contamination
 
Cryptosporidium parvum
Illness: Parasitic infection
Incubation period: Two to ten days
Symptoms: Watery diarrhea accompanied by mild stomach cramping, nausea, loss of appetite. Symptoms may last 10 to 15 days
Foods Implicated: Contaminated water and produce
Steps for
prevention:
Wash hands after using the toilet; avoid water that may be contaminated
 
Escherichia coli 0157:H7
Illness: Strain of enteropathic E. coli bacteria that produces toxins in human intestine 
Incubation period: Two to four days
Symptoms: Hemorrhagic colitis; hemolytic uremic syndrome
Foods Implicated: Raw and undercooked ground beef, raw milk, alfalfa sprouts, unpasteurized fruit juices, dry-cured salami, lettuce, game meat, and cheese curds. 
Steps for
prevention:
Thoroughly cook meat; avoid cross-contamination; only use pasteurized fruit juices. Exclude infected food handlers.
 
Hepatitis A

I llness:

Viral infection

Incubation
period:

 

Symptoms:

Mild fever, general weakness, nausea, abdominal pain; can develop into jaundice

Foods Implicated:

Ready-to-eat foods, shellfish, fresh green onions, contaminated water

Steps for
prevention:

Wash hands properly at appropriate time. Avoid bare hand contact with food; purchase shellfish from reputable supplier; exclude employees diagnosed with Hepatitis A from work
 
 
Listeriosis
I llness: Bacterial infection from strain of Listeria monocytogenes
Incubation
period:
Two days to three weeks
Symptoms: Meningitis, sepsticemia, miscarriage
Foods Implicated: Vegetables, unpasterized milk and dairy foods, raw meat, and ready-to-eat foods including deli meats
Steps for
prevention:
Purchase pasteurized milk and other dairy foods, cook foods properly, avoid cross- contamination; use sanitary practices
 
Norwalk virus
I llness: Infection with Norwalk virus
Incubation
period:
12 to 48 hours
Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps
Foods Implicated: Raw oysters/shellfish, contaminated water and ice, ready-to-eat foods.
Steps for
prevention:
Adequate treatment and disposal of sewage; restriction of infected food handlers from working with food until they no longer shed virus
 
Salmonellosis
I llness: Infection with Salmonella bacteria
Incubation
period:
12 to 24 hours
Symptoms: Nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, chills, prostration
Foods Implicated: Meat, poultry, egg or dairy products
Steps for
prevention:
Cook thoroughly, avoid cross-contamination, exclude infected food handlers.
 
Staphylococcus
I llness: Toxin produced by bacteria strain of Staphylococcus aureus.
Incubation
period:
One to six hours
Symptoms: Severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping
Foods Implicated: Custard or cream-filled baked goods, ham, poultry, eggs, potato salad, cream sauces, sandwich fillings
Steps for
prevention:
Refrigerate foods, use safe food handling practices; restrict food handlers with open cuts and sores.
 
Vibrio

I llness:

Bacterial infection caused by strains of parahaemolyticus and vulniticus

Incubation
period:

 

Symptoms:

Diarrhea, abdominal cramps; nausea and vomiting; fever and chills

Foods Implicated:

Raw or partially cooked oysters

Steps for
prevention:

Purchase oysters from approved, reputable supplier; cook to 145 degrees F internal temperature
 
 
Yersiniosis
I llness: Infection with Yersinia bacteria
Incubation period: 1 to 3 days
Symptoms: Enterocolitis, may mimic acute appendicitis
Foods Implicated: Raw milk, chocolate milk, water, pork, other raw meats
Steps for
prevention:
Purchase pasteurized milk; cook foods throroughly; no cross-contamination


Copyright 1997-2007 Food Safety and Quality Project, Iowa State University Extension