Contaminated, Negligence in Food Safety

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Symptoms associated with infection from this parasite include diarrhea, upset stomach, vomiting and abdominal pain [ 44 ]. In food-caused toxoplasmosis cases, T. Especially, this parasite spreads faster by products that are contaminated with cat feces. With the higher consumption of raw meats, it shows increased prevalence in Europe and South Africa. Toxoplasma infections can be diagnosed by response of antibodies with serologic applications [ 17 ].

Infections caused by microorganisms are largely the result of the poor hygiene of the person responsible for preparing the food. These microorganisms can rapidly reproduce in temperatures outside the safe ranges specified by food safety regulations [ 1 ]. Cooked foods should not be left to sit in room temperature for longer than two hours. Microorganisms can reproduce very rapidly at room temperature. Table 1 presents the measures that should be followed to ensure food safety [ 1 ].

The food processing stage is one of the most important stages in the food chain, and those responsible for performing the duties involved in this stage assume major responsibilities in the prevention of food poisoning cases [ 46 , 47 ]. The food processing staff should include healthy individuals who do not have any diseases, and they should undergo regular medical check-ups.

In addition to being healthy, it is also important that the workers take particular care for their personal hygiene and execute proper food handling behavior. This is especially important because food handlers can cause cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods, and they may jeopardize food hygiene by improper preparation, cooking and storage of foods [ 47 ]. A study confirmed by the Food and Drug Administration FDA determined that 81 foodborne diseases were caused by foods contaminated via food processing workers [ 48 ].

It should be noted that food workers have the power to make a remarkable impact on public health. In reducing the foodborne diseases or food poisoning, the personal hygiene practices of workers at food production sites are a key factor [ 49 ]. It is well known that proper personal hygiene is the best way to mitigate the risks associated with contamination by most of the bacteria generally seen as being responsible for foodborne diseases Table 2 [ 40 ].

In the Codex Alimentarius [ 50 ], the topics involving workers at food processing sites and food hygiene were classified under the following titles: Health status, Illness and injuries, Personal cleanliness and Personal behavior. Persons who have any disease that may cause food infection or persons who are suspected to be hosts should not be allowed into the food processing site. Workers at food processing sites who have any symptoms associated with infections should be reported to the administration, and they must be examined by a physician [ 50 ]. Those who are determined to be carriers should immediately be treated.

Those who do not obtain a clean bill of health after completing their treatment should definitely not be employed. Similarly, it is reported that in certain regions in the United States, workers at food processing sites are required to show a health card to their employers [ 52 ]]. In the WHO consultation report, routine medical and microbiological examinations of food handlers are not generally recommended, but if food handlers are suffering from an illness that includes symptoms such as jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, sore throat, skin rash or skin lesions, like boils or cuts, they should report this to their supervisor before starting work [ 53 ].

If workers have a sore throat or fever, open cuts or infected wounds, Norovirus, diarrhea, vomiting or jaundice or if they have had contact with someone who has Salmonella typhi, E. The employer must take the necessary precautions within 24 hours and report these workers to the relevant institutions. Many studies have recommended that food production sites include health service units and that it was important that workers report their diseases [ 54 — 57 ]. The hygiene practices that should be performed by food processing workers include precise adherence to personal hygiene regulations and the wearing of special, protective attire such as bonnets and gloves to help secure their hygiene.

It is important that these clothes be regularly cleaned and cared for [ 50 ].

Food Poisoning Lawyers

Reports have shown that the lack of personal hygiene among workers at food processing sites was among one of the practices that contributed to food borne diseases and that proper hand washing was the most commonly neglected practice. The practice of improper hand washing may be an important factor in the spreading of foodborne diseases by cross-contamination. It was also reported that food processing and food service workers were the asymptomatic carriers of the pathogens which caused food poisoning, due to their failure to wash their hands properly after using the restroom [ 60 ].

Another study determined that the foods became infected due to improper cleaning of contaminated hands after using the restroom [ 61 ]. The most common bacteria found were S.

Cross Contamination video

In addition, many studies have reported that workers in the food processing industry did not show enough care in washing their hands properly when necessary and in using protective attire e. Before changing tasks from raw meat to ready-to-consume foods in order to prevent cross-contamination during food preparation practices.

After touching the handle of the refrigerator, door or any other place commonly used by people during food preparation practices. Before wearing gloves and after taking them off, hands should be properly washed according to hygiene rules [ 67 ]. The steps for proper hygienic hand washing are: wash hands and wrists with soap under clean running water, being sure to rub between the fingers; use a nail brush to clean nails; rub arms and wrists with soap and water; soap and rub hands together for 10 to 15 seconds; dry hands with hot air or paper towel and use a paper towel to turn off the tap [ 63 , 68 ].

It is now known that hand-drying methods are as important as hand-washing methods in the prevention of contamination by microorganisms [ 69 ]. Studies have demonstrated that among all forms of drying methods, hand dryers posed the greatest threat of contamination. It was found that hand drying machines are less than an ideal alternative for drying hands after they have been washed, as these machines allow the bacteria to be able to spread as far as one meter away; therefore, the use of paper towels should be encouraged [ 70 , 71 ].

In general, humans are the primary source of food contamination, posing a risk to food safety as carriers. Along with the many extraneous factors, such as hands, clothes, accessories, hair and mustache, internally derived factors, such as the breath, spit and wounds, can be sources of contamination. It was reported that food processing workers were capable of spreading 10, to , microorganisms every minute [ 72 , 73 ].

Thus, workers should avoid certain behaviors at the production site, such as smoking, coughing, sneezing, chewing and eating. They also should not wear accessories, watches or hairpins [ 50 ]. Another important issue in the provision of food safety is kitchen sanitation. In order to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses in the production and processing of foods, it is necessary to minimize the risk of contamination in the placement, arrangement and decking of kitchen utensils, to set up the area so that it is equipped to perform maintenance, repair, cleaning and disinfection and to ensure that surfaces and materials in the kitchen are anti-toxic, that the kitchen has control mechanisms for temperature and humidity, if possible, and that effective measures are taken against pests [ 50 ].

Issues related to kitchen hygiene should be addressed prior to even completing the construction of the kitchen. The plan and interior design of the kitchen should be arranged in such a way as to facilitate proper hygiene practices e. The kitchen should be constructed with durable materials that are easy to care for and clean.

These materials should be free of any substances that can potentially render the food unsuitable for consumption, such as parasites, pathogenic microorganisms and toxins, or raw materials, food components and others substances used in the production of processed products that have been infected by foreign substances [ 75 ]. The surfaces should be designed in such a way as to not accumulate dirt, to prevent foreign substances from infecting foods and to not allow the creation of dense liquids or mold. Pests should also be prevented from entering the workplace. Drainages should be easy to clean and prevent pests such as rodents from entering and waste liquids from re-entering back into the kitchen environment [ 76 ].

There should be warnings written and hung on the walls of the workplace about the rules the staff should obey and the best hygiene practices to be performed. The staff should be provided with changing rooms that include a sufficient number of lockers to hold both work and civilian clothes. The staff should not keep any food in these lockers [ 75 ].

Theories of Liability in Food Poisoning Cases

Ventilation systems should be capable of eliminating smoke, odors, soot and evaporation, keeping heat inside and preventing dust, dirt and pests from entering. Filters and other parts of the systems should be easily accessible for cleaning or changing. The kitchen should have natural or artificial lights that are equal to the natural light of the day, and the intensity and color of the lights should not impact the production or the quality of the foods in a negative way.

There should be continuous control on humidity and temperature in the food storage sites [ 76 ]. To maintain a hygienic kitchen, the continuity of cleaning and disinfection procedures is as important as the layout plan of the kitchen. Therefore, a cleaning and disinfection plan should be developed for the kitchen, and all cleaning and disinfection practices should be done according to this plan and recorded.

The staff should be trained on the sanitation and disinfection of the kitchen [ 75 ]. Equipment that comes into regular contact with foods should be made of material able to be cleaned and disinfected, resistant to corrosion and non-toxic. The equipment should be arranged in a way as to enable it and the area around it to be cleaned sufficiently. When it is necessary that chemicals be used to clean the equipment, the instructions governing the use of those chemicals should be followed. Calibration checks of the equipment and tools should be made regularly, and these checks should be recorded [ 76 ].

Effective food control systems are needed to improve the applicability and control of food safety [ 77 ]. Later, starting in the s, it began to be used as a reference by the Food and Drug Administration FDA in official supervisions. Since then, the food industry and official authorities have been using it to protect against and control the risks of potential dangers that could threaten food safety [ 78 ]. The starting steps were created by Codex, and they should be completed prior to implementing the seven HACCP principles.

The starting steps help to ensure that the HACCP system is implemented and managed in the most effective way possible [ 79 ]. The HAACP system is applicable for any company operating within the food chain, regardless of their size. In the implementation stage, the HACCP system should be supported by certain preliminary condition programs. A company interested in implementing this system should already be following the requirements of this preliminary condition program. Preliminary condition programs include national regulations, codes of practice or other food safety prerequisites.

In general, preliminary condition programs involve factories and equipment, staff training, cleaning and sanitation, maintenance chemical control, waste management, storage and transportation [ 78 ]. HACCP is an internationally accepted system and in most countries, it is required that companies within the food industry implement this system. After it was defined, it began to be used in more than 50 countries within 2 years [ 80 ]. The basic approach of the ISO standard is to implement a preventive system that serves to protect consumers from foodborne diseases.

This standard controls all the processes in the food chain, including infrastructure, staff and equipment. In business establishments, the Food Safety Management System implementations include production control, product control, equipment control, maintenance, general hygiene practices, staff and visitor hygiene, transportation, storage, product information, training, the selection and evaluation of suppliers, communication and other similar issues [ 81 ].

The main goal of this standard is to have a system in place that determines the unacceptable risks that may result from process errors and to secure product safety and consumer health. Food safety supervision over product, design, production and quality control determines and eliminates the potential dangers. The fundamental role of ISO is not only to provide food safety but also to improve the sensory and nutritional quality of food, and it also plays a primary role in the quality assurance of service practices in industrial production.

Lastly, this standard helps to reduce operational losses by instituting a more effective use of resources to increase productivity, and thereby, directs the establishment to a system of total quality [ 80 ]. This standard was created by the major global food producers in cooperation with the Confederation of Food and Drink Industries CIAA with the purpose of eliminating the weaknesses of the ISO food safety system standard. Nestle, Unilever, Danone and Kraft, the sector leaders generally known as "G4", collectively published the PAS standard, which refines the preliminary conditions programs.

The PAS standard is applicable for all types of companies and was made available in It was intended that the PAS standard be used together with the internationally accepted ISO standard [ 82 ].

Types of Liability & Injury Lawsuits for Food Poisoning | AllLaw

The content and topics of PAS elaborate on the 10 sub-titles in the ISO standard and adds 5 of its own, resulting in the following 15 items [ 82 ]:. Today, increasing attention is focused upon the impact farming practices are having on the environment, and there is an increasing emphasis on more sustainable methods of crop production.

Systems need to be adopted that are more sensitive to environmental issues, genetic diversity, wildlife and their habitats and in some cases the social structures of rural communities. Furthermore, consumers around the world are more sophisticated and critical than in the past, demanding to know how and what has been used to produce their agriculturally derived products.

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Good Agricultural Practices GAP are defined "practices that address environmental, economic and social sustainability for on-farm processes, and result in safe and quality food and non-food agricultural products'' by the FAO. The aims of the GAP are as follows:. Food safety ultimately deals with the consumption stage, where the existence and level of the dangers caused by foods are of chief concerns. The observance of rigorous control procedures throughout the course of the food chain is a fundamental necessity, given that risks to food safety can surface in any stage of the chain.

Therefore, all parties involved in the food chain share the responsibility for ensuring food safety. The design of a food safety system involves numerous factors. To begin with, minimum hygiene standards should be determined by laws and regulations, food producers must apply food safety measures and procedures and official bodies must supervise and inspect food industry companies to confirm that they are conducting their operations in a manner consistent with the regulations in force.

Food poisoning cases that threaten public health globally occur as a result of the contamination of foods in any stage, from production to consumption. Although the factors jeopardizing food safety seem to be easy to control in theory, studies and current practices indicate that there is still a long way to go in practice. Help us write another book on this subject and reach those readers. Login to your personal dashboard for more detailed statistics on your publications. Edited by Hussaini Makun.

Ogara, Mojisola Edema, Kingsley O. Idahor, Margaret E. Eshiett and Bosede F. We are IntechOpen, the world's leading publisher of Open Access books. Built by scientists, for scientists. Our readership spans scientists, professors, researchers, librarians, and students, as well as business professionals. Downloaded: Abstract When certain disease-causing bacteria, viruses or parasite contaminate food, they can cause food-related diseases.

Keywords Food safety food hygiene food handlers hygiene kitchen and equipment hygiene nutrition. Introduction The diseases caused by food, or the foodborne diseases, are described as the illnesses with which people are infected by the foods they eat [ 1 ]. The factors that affect food safety Foods are the basic building blocks of living things, yet they may pose a threat and become harmful to human health in some situations [ 13 ]. Food hygiene Many factors serve to undermine food hygiene. Make sure that hygienic conditions are provided and maintained during supply and transportation.

Contamination of ready-to-eat foods Purchase foods from reliable suppliers. Storage Contamination Keep foods in wrapped or closed containers. Perform pest control. Reproduction of bacteria Monitor the time and temperature of storage. Preparation Contamination resulting from personal hygiene Wash hands before touching the food. Prevent cross-contamination by surfaces and containers. Separate cooked foods from raw foods.

Use boiling water, especially if the food will not undergo additionally cooking. Reproduction of bacteria Pay close attention to the amount of time foods remain at room temperature. Do not let foods remain at room temperature longer than two hours. Avoid storing too much food in the refrigerator or in the cool spaces in it. Beware of the thermal agitations in long-term cold storage.

Contamination by various sources Wrap the foods appropriately and prevent their direct or indirect contact with raw foods Make sure that the food containers are clean when storing the cooked foods. Re-heating Survival of the bacteria Re-heat the food properly. Service Reproduction of bacteria, production of spores, and toxins Re-heat the food properly. Contamination Do not touch the food with hands.

Serve the food hot. Prevent contact between uncooked foods and unclean containers. Table 1. Personal Hygiene of Food Handlers The food processing stage is one of the most important stages in the food chain, and those responsible for performing the duties involved in this stage assume major responsibilities in the prevention of food poisoning cases [ 46 , 47 ]. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC , one in six Americans or 48 million people get sick with a foodborne illness each year.

These food poisoning outbreaks can involve as few as people, or as many as several thousand victims. The most serious cases of food poisoning are usually caused by various pathogenic bacteria such as E. Fortunately, most cases of food poisoning result in relatively mild acute gastroenteritis which usually resolves within a few days to a few weeks. Most people recover with little or no medical treatment, and usually without any long-term health consequences. A report from the CDC conludes that foodborne illnesses result in approximately 3, deaths and cause nearly , Americans to be hospitalized every year.

Some researchers have estimated the annual food poisoning death toll in this country to be as high as 9, Children, pregnant women, elderly adults, and persons who are immunocompromised are the most at risk for suffering complications arising from food poisoning. There are many different infectious diseases that humans can acquire through the consumption of food, water or beverage products which are contaminated with various types of microbial organisms.

Many types of foodborne illness are caused by bacterial pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus Clostridium botulinum or Clostridium perfringens. Other foodborne illnesses are caused by viral pathogens such as Hepatitis A or Norovirus.

Certain parasites such as the Toxoplasma gondii species can also cause foodborne illness. Several of these organisms are considered waterborne pathogens which can be transmitted through both drinking water and pool water. Outbreaks of recreational water illness have been linked to contamination of pool water by Shigella, E. Most episodes of food poisoning are relatively isolated incidents involving a single individual or a small number of people who are usually part of a family or other group.

However, there are instances of widespread outbreaks of food poisoning which affect many members of the consuming public. Most widespread outbreaks of foodborne illness involve foods contaminated with E. Humans need only consume a very small number of E. Ingestion of E. Consuming food contaminated with the Camplyobacter jejuni bacterium can cause an infectious gastrointestinal disease known as Camplyobacteriosis and, in some cases, a peripheral nervous system disorder known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Shigella bacteria can also be transmitted via food, thereby resulting in human infection and a disease known as Shigelliosis which sometimes leads to HUS, Reactive Arthritis or a functional gastrointestinal disorder called Post Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome. There are many potential defendants in any foreign object or food poisoning lawsuit. In general, any company or individual involved in the production, packaging, storage, distribution, preparation or sale of a recalled or unsafe food or drink product may have potential liability for illness or death suffered by the consumer.

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