Lesson 3 of 7
In Progress

Foodborn Illness


Foodborne Illnesses Are Caused by Contamination of Food

Contamination can be physical, bacterial, viral, or chemical. All contamination must be avoided to ensure food is safe to eat. Even time can cause contamination. For this reason it is very important to keep food at the proper temperatures. By keeping contaminants out of food and ensuring that bacteria doesn’t have enough time to grow in food we keep food safe to eat.

  • Contamination is all around us
  • Contaminants are found naturally in certain foods
  • Hand washing is the best preventative measure
  1. Diarrhea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Fever
  4. Nausea
  5. Abdominal cramps
  6. Jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes)
  • Food
  • Acidity
  • Temperature
  • Time
  • Oxygen
  • Moisture
  • Viruses are the smallest contaminants.
  • They are usually transmitted through fecal-oral routes.
  • Cooking does not destroy viruses
  • Hepatitis A and Norovirus are the 2 most common viral food borne infections
  • Both diseases are linked with RTE food
  • RTE food stands for Ready-To-Eat food.
  • Purchase food from approved, reputable suppliers
  • Cook food to required minimum internal temperatures
  • Fish that will be served raw or undercooked must be frozen correctly by the manufacturer
  • Some molds and mushrooms produce toxins
  • Throw out moldy food, unless mold is a natural part of the food
  • Purchase mushrooms from approved reputable suppliers
  • Scombroid – Histamine Toxin – Tuna, Mackerel, Bonito, Mahi Mahi that are time-temperature abused
  • Ciguatera – Ciguatoxin, predatory reef fish (Barracuda, Grouper, Jacks, and Snapper) – marine algae
  • Chemical contaminants can come from many sources including cleaning products and pesticides 
  • Symptoms vary based on the chemical but usually start within minutes
  • Chemicals must be stored away from food
  • Purchase food from approved, reputable suppliers
  • Closely inspect food received
  • Take steps to prevent physical contamination, including practicing good personal hygiene
  • Peanuts
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Tree Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Milk