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Salmonellosis Bacterial Infection: What It Is and How It Spreads

Salmonellosis is a bacterial infection which contaminates food leading to food poisoning. The bacterial infection is very common and affects people who consume poultry, raw eggs, fish and milk products which are prone to Salmonellosis infections (Acton, 2013). Commonly known as Salmonella it is prone to infecting food even after being well cooked and can also infect a person by simply consuming cooked food stored in the fridge and not properly heated before consumption. This makes it important to educate the public regarding the bacterial infection so as to reduce and eliminate the chances of people consuming food contaminated by Salmonellosis or preheating the food in a prescribed manner so as to kill any traces of Salmonellosis bacteria in stored food. Common symptoms of Salmonellosis bacterial infections include stomach cramps, diarrhoea, fever, and vomiting. The bacteria is commonly spread by pet reptiles and amphibians, chicken, ducks, hamsters, dogs, and cats which may come in to contact with the food. It’s also commonly spread by insects such as the common house fly why may contaminate food which leads to the bacterial infection and food poisoning (Wray & Wray, 2000). Diagnosis can be done via physical examinations and assessment of the symptoms but it is critical to perform a blood and stool test which will help confirm the infection and individual may be experiencing. Salmonella poisoning can affect any individual thus making it a major topic related to Food quality safety and one which must be closely understood before the innovation of any new food product.

With food a basic requirement each person needs and an industry which continues registering continued growth, it’s vital to perform risk assessments at every stage of the project so as to prevent food contamination which can lead to food poisoning. This makes it important to perform an in-depth study to understand how the pathogen develops, speed and is transmitted and how they contaminate the food.

At the product proposal stage Factors such as the ideal Ph. levels and temperature of the food, moisture content, safe storage duration, Hazard Identification, Hazard Characterization, Exposure Assessment, and Frequency of contamination and Risk Characterization are close studies and understood.  With a contamination and ph. level of 3.7- 9.5 and the bacterial infection spreading  at any temperature above 0 degrees, Salmonellosis possess a high risk of contaminating food products making in-depth research, analyses and prevention a priority.  This helps educate the individual, stakeholders, and organization regarding the risks associated with the proposed products development. It also helps identify the pathogens that are likely to contaminate the proposed food product and how they may affect the proposed food innovation and help the business also develop a suitable product to develop.  This stage is considered by many food scientists to be the main stage of any food innovation, development, and production making it important to expand on each of these areas from an in-depth perspective. This is essential as it allows the entrepreneur and innovator develop a detailed product risk table which can be used to design and develop the new food product.

The Importance of Risk Assessments at Every Stage of Food Production

The main point linked to avoiding and preventing Salmonella bacterial infections and poisoning is first being able to understand the causes of the infection so as to prevent the hazards from contaminating food. Unlike a human being, many of our pets will usually put their mouth into any old contaminated food item which we as human beings cannot consume. They then return home and put their mouth or touch our food leading to cross-contaminating the food we consume (UN, 2000). This makes it important to first manage the hazards associated with Salmonella poisoning so as to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Many people and especially working professionals consider food to be safe due to having been cooked and stored in the fridge. Fridges do help prevent bacteria from multiplying and food from spoiling but this does not eliminate or kill any Salmonellosis bacteria which may have found its way into the food. This makes it critical for all food to be properly heated to help kill any bacteria which may have found its way or contaminated the food while cooling or before being placed in the fridge (Hardy, 2014). Avoid consuming cold food especially when has meat, egg, fish and milk products as these are the most prone to harbouring Salmonellosis bacteria. Refrigerated food must be heated properly and kept on slow heat for at least 5 minutes to ensure all pathogens and bacteria have been neutralized before consumption.

It’s also common to find many people preferring their steaks, fish, and egg medium rare or half boiled meaning the food is half cooked and highly prone to contamination. This is the same with milk and milk products as well which many people also consumer raw placing them at a high risk of contracting Salmonellosis (Merry, 1997). It is important to avoid consuming half-cooked meat, egg and milk products as this exposes the food to attracting a higher chance of Salmonellosis contamination which can easily find its way into your body.

Hazard management plays a huge role towards controlling the spread of Salmonellosis bacterial infections making it important to educate the public regarding the hazards thus helping eliminate the risk from the source. Salmonellosis bacterial infections tend to contaminate any meat, fish, fish or eggs products which may have been discarded in the waste bin or garbage. But can easily find its way back to the food cycles by attaching itself to animal and insects which may come in to contact with the contaminated food and transport it to freshly cooked food (Berger & Parenteau, 2010). Pets, House flies, and cockroaches are synonymous for spreading the bacterial infections making it important to manage hygiene to avoid contamination and infections.

Managing Hazards to Prevent the Spread of Salmonellosis Bacterial Infections

The risk assessment must continue to the initial development and mass production stages where the risks once again need to be closely monitored to determine their behaviour while dealing large amounts of food. Salmonellosis is especially dangers while dealing with large amounts of meat, fish and milk products thus making it important to evaluate each batch of raw materials carefully before being combined to manufacture a large lot. This makes it important for each of the batched of raw materials to be carefully examined and evaluate independently so as to determine the quality and any contamination. Once approved the raw materials must go through a strict hygiene process before being combined to the main batch and stored in freezers to prevent further contamination. Batches should be limited 100 KG to prevent large-scale contamination and losses thus allowing the product development to limit the risk of contamination and limit the number of people exposed by maintaining small to medium batches.  Packaging should also be clearly labelled and batch numbers clearly stated in unique codes thus allowing the business, retailers, and consumers identify any batches that may show signs of contamination and discard or surrender them for replacement.

The minimum exposure to Salmonellosis bacteria any person required to trigger an infection if very low and simply coming in to contact with the bacteria on hands and touching or eating food with unwashed hands can lead to infection (Rhen, 2007). Once in the stomach, the Salmonellosis bacteria replicated rapidly increasing its numbers in the stomach which happens to be the optimal environment for the bacteria to spread replicate. The infection than begins from the stomach walls into the bloodstream and resulting in the patient experiencing abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, and vomiting among other symptoms.

One of the main causes if Salmonella food poisoning is related to people consuming raw, half cooked and cold food. This is a major concern among city dwellers that lack the time to cook food on a daily basis leading them to store food in their refrigerators over long periods of time. In many situations, the people will not reheat the food properly which increases the risk of the pathogens finding their way n the person’s stomach. Salmonella food poisoning is also commonly experienced by people who prefer to consume their meat, fish, eggs and milk products raw which place them at higher risk of infection (Nestle, 2003). In recent years Salmonella food poisoning has been increasing among residents of major cities due to the lack of dedicating time towards food preparing which increases the risk of Salmonellosis bacterial contamination.

Preventing Salmonellosis Bacterial Infection: Tips and Best Practices

Pests are another major concern and factor linked to the spread of Salmonellosis bacteria making it important for every household to practice high levels of hygiene. House flies, cockroaches and rats will also transport and contaminate food with the Salmonellosis bacteria making it important that homeowners ensure the house does not harbour flies, cockroaches or rats (Podolak & Black, 2017). Pets control and management is, therefore, another essential factors linked to controlling Salmonellosis bacterial infections and preventing the risk of people being exposed to the bacteria

Due to being a new product, it’s also important to continue testing after mass production and packaging so as to determine the products safe shelf life thus allowing for the business to take immediate steps to prevent or withdraw any possible contaminated food from stores before being purchased. It’s also important to have a detailed chart listing the Hazard Characterization, Health Issues, Symptoms, outcomes, and high-risk groups properly documented.

Prevention is better than cure but it’s also important to be able to assess a potentially exposed consumer which could allow the evaluator to determine whether that is have fallen victim or exposed to the Salmonellosis bacterial infection by consuming the new food product this makes it important to list the symptoms, reactions, and allergies patients may experience thus helping document and track future development to prevent mast exposure (Nations, 2003).

Exposure to Salmonellosis Pathogen does not lead to any disease but results in Salmonella poisoning which is an infection of the patient's stomach leading to abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually begin appearing within 12-72 hours and can take between 4 to 7 days to be treated.

Salmonellosis bacterial infections are characterized by the patient experiencing stomach cramps, bloody stools, chills, diarrhoea, fever, headache, muscle pains, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness within 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria (Mastroeni & Maskell, 2006). The speed at which the infection affects the patient is directly influenced by the individual’s immunity, strength, and ability to fight infections and treatment can take between 4-7 days depending on the above factors.

Patients exposed to Salmonellosis bacterial infections are likely to experience stomach cramps, bloody stools, chills, diarrhoea, fever, headache, muscle pains, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. When untreated, it can lead to hospitalization or death of patients who may succumb due to dehydration, high fever, and internal bleeding. Listing the potential health outcomes can help speed up treatment and prevent further infection

Risk Group of the Population

Salmonella food poisoning can affect any person placing every person at risk of experiencing an infection but there are certain criteria which increase the amount of exposure and risk and individual experiences. People living in cities and who fail to have adequate time to cook their food and reheat their food on a regulate basis, and pet owners are at the highest risk of experiencing Salmonella food poisoning (Boss & Day, 2009).

Testing and Tracking to Ensure Food Safety and Consumer Protection

It’s also important to develop a contaminated food disposal plan to avoid it entering the black market or being consumed by underprivileged members of the community. Research shows that underprivileged members of the society tend to fall victim to purchasing expired food products on the black market where retailers are looking to dispose the products and regain some of their investment. This makes it important to develop an effective expired and contaminated batch disposal plan in which all expired and contaminated batches of the product would be accumulated at a designated location away from human and animal populations and properly disposed of. This can this is also critical as it would help eliminate the risk of the contaminated food entering the market which could result in damaging the brand's reputation

With the risk associated with the new food product properly documented and understood, the project manager or proposer would need to take on the sole responsibility of overlooking the process. This is due to the individual having the widest knowledge and understanding linked to the product which is critical towards ensuring the product safe development and production. Having performed the research from the initial theoretical research stage to the practical testing and implementation the proposer would require remaining with the product after establishment. Besides monitoring the products development, production, packaging, sales and safe disposal, he would also be responsible for managing the businesses educating all staff members regarding the products development, evaluation and identification of risk factors thus ensuring the new product exposes the lowest possible risk of contaminating the consumer. The main objective of the risk assessment would be to identify potential risk so as to eliminate them from affecting the consumer thus in-depth research must be done at the product proposal/ innovation stage so as to develop a detailed report responding to each of the identified risks.  Once oriented all stakeholders and employees linked to the food production process would require taking responsibility for performing risk assessments and reporting and presenting on any risk they identify without waiting for higher authorities to interview this will promote a self-management atmosphere which will see all stakeholders taking individual responsibility for managing risk associated with the new product

It is important to also have documentation which requires being used to evaluate the products with the objective of determining the risk levels and delivering a final verdict. Each stage of the development of the product would thus require for the line managers to evaluate the incoming raw materials using a checklist before they can be processed re-evaluated and then passed to the next stage of the process. The initial documents would be filled by the supplies manager who would require having a quality checklist which would require him to evaluate the raw material before acceptance. Factors such as age, size, and storage, exposure to the elements, sanitation, and packaging are all basic points which would need to be checked initially. The supply managers and supervisors will then need to also consumer taking samples for onsite testing before accepting any consignment. It is critical that the quality is properly evaluated before acceptance as the officer would then be responsible for responding to any issues which may arise from the raw materials once delivered at the processing facility. It’s also important to have storage and transportation log which needs to be filled to ensure the products is being transported in the desired manner. The same would ally for all stages of the process on which every officer would require having a unique checklist log which would ensure each department, Officer, supervisor or manager is evaluating the food product before, during and after it reaches the department or stage. Documents will require being unique thus each will require being designed during the product development stage and further mediations made during the process to ensure proper risk evaluation and prevention

To help prevent and avoid risk I am important to develop a manual which addresses the different types of risks and their prevention or remedies which must be displayed at every workstation and copies distributed to all employees on a hard and soft copy. This help educates and keeps stakeholders educated regarding the risks thus helping reduce the risk of exposure and food contamination and identification and elimination of risk factors to prevent food contamination. Some important requirements to include to the manual include

When it comes to health care Prevention is always better than cure making it important for people to understand factors contributing towards the infection which can then be used to perform exposure assessments (Organization, 2008). Exposure assessments play an important role towards creating awareness and educating the people at risk thus helping them better understand how to evaluate and prevent or avoid further Salmonellosis bacterial infections or contamination of food.

The first step linked to managing Salmonellosis bacterial infections understands the risk elements and how the bacteria can find its way into your food and body. Salmonella food poisoning is caused by the Salmonellosis bacteria which contaminated food and infects the body once injected. The bacteria can be caused by improper storage of food, consuming half cooked food or can be transported from an external source to food by pets and pests (Forsythe, 2008). Understanding the risk elements linked to Salmonellosis bacterial contamination is, therefore, the first and most important step linked to managing and preventing the infection.

With the risk factors listed the individual must then more one to list potential forms of exposure they may be experiencing. This helps determine factors which are increasing the risk of the bacteria contaminating their food such as lack of proper storage, half cooked and raw food consumption, pests and pets or any other factor which may be increasing the risk of contamination.

The identified these risks will then allow the individual to manage or eliminated to help reduce the chances of contamination and food poisoning. Exposure prevention can be archived by eliminating the risk factors which would reduce the chances of the bacteria being transported of developing on the food before consumption. Strategies used to prevent exposure will solely depend on the risk factors and cause of infection which the individual would need to manage to prevent or reduce the risk of the Salmonellosis bacteria contaminating the food before consumption. It’s also important to identify the risk level linked to stale food in a situation where people may be storing food over long periods of time where one must be able to determine once food must be discarded even when stored in the fridge since the risk of contamination increases as food grows older and staler.

Salmonellosis bacteria have a tendency of developing on stale and raw food exposed to the elements. The bacteria are also responsible for breaking down food and cross-contamination can occur. The bacteria can also be transported via water making it important that water sources are always clean and treated to prevent major infections (A, 2013).  

Salmonellosis bacteria have a tendency of developing on old and stale food. The contamination will usually begin with one cell which gradually multiplies while spreading across the entire food item.  Salmonellosis bacterial infections are commonly found in stale and old food and will usually

Sanitation standards

Lack of high levels of Sanitation has been identified as the main concern linked to Salmonellosis bacterial infections.  Old and stale food, close contact and sharing of food with pets, an unhygienic household condition which attracts cockroaches, flies, and rats are all factors which encourage the Salmonellosis bacteria. This makes sanitation and important element linked to managing and preventing Salmonellosis bacterial infections food poisoning.

Salmonellosis bacteria develop on old and stale food which may have been discarded but the bacteria can be transported by pet and pests from the garbage to fresh food. This is achieved by the bacteria attaching itself to the feet and mouth and skin or fur of the pets or pests which transport the bacteria to the household and can contaminate fresh food is that come in to contact with the food or any surface the food may be exposed to.

Risk categorization involved the identification of potential risk groups and providing adequate information and knowledge related to the risk of Salmonellosis bacterial infections and food poisoning. This helps the healthcare authorities better manage healthcare by targeting specific groups of people who may be at higher risk of exposure and educating them on how to reduce the risk of Salmonellosis bacterial contamination. Salmonellosis bacterial contamination in food is commonly experienced among people lead unhygienic lifestyles to live in close contact with pets and does not dedicate time towards food preparation (UNFP, 2001). These three groups have been identified to be at the highest risk of contamination allowing healthcare authorities focus their attention towards educating these consumer groups and helping reduce the risk of Salmonellosis bacterial infections.

Conclusion

Salmonella or Salmonellosis bacterial infections are closely associated with unhygienic practices making it important for people to first understand the dynamics linked to the pathogen and its characterization before prevention measures can be considered. Only after the characteristics, risks and forms of exposure are understood can people avoid experiencing the pathogen infection which is closely associated with lack of hygiene and leading unhealthy lifestyles. Salmonellosis bacterial infections continue to be a major concern for both the individual and food and catering businesses thus major emphasis is must be placed on educating the public to prevent Salmonellosis bacteria food poisoning incidents which may be occurring without people realizing the causes of the infection or food poisoning.

References

A, A. (2013). Advances in Salmonella enterica Research and Application: 2013 Edition. ScholarlyEditions.

Acton, A. (2013). Salmonella Infections: New Insights for the Healthcare Professional: 2013 Edition: ScholarlyBrief. Altenta: ScholarlyEditions.

Berger, L. M., & Parenteau, C. L. (2010). Food Safety for Managers. Boston: Berger Food Safety.

Boss, M. J., & Day, D. W. (2009). Building Vulnerability Assessments: Industrial Hygiene and Engineering Concepts. Boca Roton: CRC Press.

Brands, D. A., & Alcamo, I. E. (2006). Salmonella. Infobase Publishing.

Carrión, P. A., & Thompson, L. J. (2013). Food Safety Management: Chapter 15. Pet Food. Elsevier Inc.

Forsythe, S. J. (2008). The Microbiological Risk Assessment of Food. John Wiley & Sons.

Hardy, A. (2014). Salmonella Infections, Networks of Knowledge, and Public Health in Britain. Croydon: Oxford University Press.

Mastroeni, P., & Maskell, D. (2006). Salmonella Infections: Clinical, Immunological and Molecular Aspects. Cambridge University Press.

Merry, G. (1997). Food Poisoning Prevention. Macmillan Education AU.

Nations, U. (2003). Hazard Characterization for Pathogens in Food and Water: Guidelines. Rome: Food & Agriculture Org.

Nestle, M. (2003). Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism. berkeley: University of California Press.

Organization, W. H. (2008). Exposure Assessment of Microbiological Hazards in Food: Guidelines. World Health Organization.

Podolak, R., & Black, D. G. (2017). Control of Salmonella and Other Bacterial Pathogens in Low-Moisture Foods. Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.

Rhen, M. (2007). Salmonella: Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis. Norfolk: Horizon Scientific Press.

(2000). Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Risk Assessment of Microbiological Hazards in Foods.Food & Agriculture Org, United Nations.

UNFP. (2001). Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Risk Assessment of Microbiological Hazards in Foods: Risk Characterization of Salmonella Spp. in Eggs and Broiler Chickens and Listeria Monocytogenes in Ready-to-eat Foods : FAO Headquarters, Rome, 30 April-4 May 2001,. Food & Agriculture Org.

Wray, C., & Wray, A. (2000). Salmonella in Domestic Animals. Eastborne: CABI.

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