Foodborne Illness What is Foodborne Illness? According to a medical dictionary, food borne illness is an acute gastrointestinal infection caused by consuming food contaminated with pathogenic, bacteria, toxins, viruses, prions or parasites. Such contamination was caused by improper food handling, preparation or storage of food. Contacts between food and pests, especially flies, cockroaches and rodents are a further cause of contamination of food. Foodborne illness can also be caused by adding pesticides or medicine to food or consuming or by accidentally consuming naturally poisonous substances. That is why food borne illness can also be called food poisoning.

Health Canada estimates that about two million Canadian suffers food borne illness per year and CDC (Center for Disease Control) estimates approximately 76 million food borne illness cases occur in the United States per year. However, many food borne illness cases are unreported. Some of the most common bacteria and viruses that cause food borne illness are Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O 157: H 7, and Hepatitis. In the following report, you will read some of the major food borne illness outbreaks in Canada and United States. According to Health Canada, the number of Canadians who has food borne illness is estimated to be approximately two million per year. As mentioned in the introduction, many food borne illness cases are not reported.

In Canada, it is estimated that for every one case of food borne illness that is reported, there are 350 cases that are not reported. The ones that are reported are usually major problems. Canada had some major outbreak of food borne illness through these many years. One major outbreak was on March and April 1998.

The major outbreak was Salmonella Enteritidis associated with the contamination of cheese in a commercial product. This happened in Newfoundland. Nearly 700 cases were reported, most of which were children that got the illness. It was found that the source of the outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis was the cheese in a prepackaged processed lunch packs. The cheese was contaminated when it was being packaged into the lunch packs. It was never found how the cheese got contaminated, but they discover that the cheese was contaminated before it arrived to the place where the products were processed and packaged.

They suspect that something must have happen in Parma lat! |s plant, the company that provides the cheeses for the lunch pack, because it was only the cheese that got contaminated. However, they will not release any information, so the real explanation of how the cheese got contaminated will never be known. Another major outbreak was on May, 2000. This outbreak is not a food borne but a waterborne illness which is very similar to food borne. This happened at Walkerton, Ontario. It was a devastating outbreak of E-coli, which contaminated in the water.

The source of the contaminated water was one of the wells, well 5. Well 5 was already contaminated with E-coli and coli form for some time before the outbreak. This could have been prevented if the two people who ran the water utility revealed the crucial test result. Also, the government cutbacks also contributed to the contamination, creating a system where water-quality problems were never noticed, reported, or corrected. As it has mentioned before, approximately 76 million Americans suffer from food borne illness per year. Approximately 325, 000 people are hospitalized with illnesses and 5, 000 die.

It is obvious that United States has more food borne illness cases than Canada that is because of poor handling food practices. Like Canada, United States have many major outbreaks of food borne illnesses through out these years. One major outbreak happened in 1993. It was from the Jack in the Box restaurant.

The outbreak of food borne illness was E-coli associated with the contamination of hamburger patties. The contamination of the hamburger patties was due to adulteration. It was discovered that the Jack in the Box fast food chain that could have prevented the outbreak of E-coli food poisoning. They knew about the safe-cooking standards, but they chose not to follow.

If they have followed the safe-cooking standards, it would have killed the E-coli bacteria in the hamburger patties. This outbreak was caused by improper food handling. They did not cook the hamburger patties long enough and not at the right temperature. Because of their undercooked hamburgers, three Washington children died and 600 were sickened by food poisoning from E-coli.

O 157: H 7. Another outbreak happened on October, 2000 at California. This isn! |t a major outbreak like in 1993, but it affected about 250 people. The food that got contaminated was salsa at a Redwood City Mexican Restaurant. The salsa got contaminated with. This happened because of bad practices of food handling.

They found that the employees didn! |t wash their hands and they didn! |t supply hand-washing cleanser for the washroom. Basically, the salsa got contaminated with was because the restaurant was unclean. Although, not a lot of people realize it, food borne illness is a very serious issue. Foodborne illness can be minor or major.

However, no matter if it! |s minor or major, it should still be treated the same. Foodborne illness can kill people. According to NFS EM, there are four basic steps to prevent food borne illness, and they are: 1. Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often 2. Separate: Don't cross-contaminate 3. Cook: Cook to proper temperatures 4.

Chill: Refrigerate promptly If everybody follows these four basic steps, then there wouldn! |t be so many people suffering from food borne illness.