Food Poisoning

Topics: Bacteria, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Escherichia coli Pages: 3 (833 words) Published: April 16, 2012
These people have never met each other, they may live on the same street or live on the opposite side of the world, they don’t know what each other look like, but they all have one thing in common: they are all living victims of food poisoning. Some people think that food poisoning was the worst experience of their lives. It is important to recognize that anyone who eats or drinks anything is at risk of having a food borne illness. Let’s concentrate on bacterial food poisoning and how it occurs, the common bacterial culprits and some precautionary steps to avoid becoming infected with bacterial food poisoning.

Food poisoning is a general term for illness or health problems that arise due to ingesting contaminated food. The main cause of food poisoning is bacterial toxins. Food poisoning occurs when a bacterium that is in food is prompted to grow and reproduce. Bacteria thrive in warm temperatures and an environment full of moisture. When the conditions are right, bacteria can grow from one to several million in just eight hours. The problem arises when instead of producing millions of bacteria, there is less but more toxic bacteria or there are a huge amount of bacteria that cause the problems inside the body. For example, Jill comes home after school and she only has a few minutes to get ready for work, she is starving but doesn’t have time to make anything. There is a leftover hamburger that her roommates left out. She eats the hamburger and goes on her way to work. A few hours later, she starts to feel some discomfort. She wonders why her stomach hurts and then all of a sudden begins to vomit. This is a perfect example of how food poisoning can happen. The food was already cooked so it was warm, then it is allowed to sit out at room temperature for who knows how long. The bacteria can thrive in this environment. Not only are there many ways that bacteria can infect people, there are also many different kinds of bacteria.

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