Food-Borne disease CIEH Level 3 - 3.6

Campylobacter enteritis

causative organisms – Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli

source – animals, untreated water, raw meat, offal, poultry and untreated milk

symptoms – abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever and headache, flu-like symptoms

incubation period – 1–11 days (usually 2–5 days)

Campylobacter enteritis

cause of illness – only a few cells are required to cause an infection leading to acute diarrhoea and gastro-enteritis

control measures – thorough hand washing, especially after handling raw meats – preventing cross-contamination – thorough cooking – avoid contact with animals/pets – chlorination of water supplies – pasteurisation of milk

E. coli O157

source – the gastrointestinal tract of cattle

foods commonly involved – raw meat, especially minced meat, raw milk, salads

symptoms – diarrhoea (often bloody) and abdominal pain (possibly HUS/HC)

incubation period – 1–6 days

E. coli O157

cause of illness – toxin (verocytotoxin) damages lining of intestines causing bleeding/very low infective dose – as low as 10 organisms/complications can follow – e.g. kidney failure/can be life threatening

control measures: strict control or slaughter procedures and hygiene – separation of raw and cooked foods – thorough cooking, especially minced meat products – good personal hygiene – careful, thorough washing of salads and fruit – pasteurisation

Listeriosis

causative organism – Listeria monocytogenes

source – widely distributed in the environment – soil, water, vegetation, human and animal faeces

symptoms – fever, septicaemia, meningitis,abortion

incubation period – 3–70 days

Listeriosis

cause of illness – bacteria invade bloodstream and change composition of red blood cells / may be life threatening to unborn babies and pregnant women

control measures: avoidance of high-risk foods – in particular soft cheese and pate – by pregnant women – avoidance of cross contamination at all stages from ‘farm to fork’ – thorough cooking / reheating – thorough washing of vegetables and salads to be eaten raw – strict control of ‘at-risk’ products

Dysentery

causative organism – most commonly Shigella sonnei

sources – faeces of infected people, contaminated water, shellfish, milk, raw vegetables and salads

incubation period – 1–7 days

symptoms – diarrhoea (may be bloody), fever, stomach cramps and vomiting

Dysentery

cause of illness – toxin released in invaded cells/very low infective dose

control measures: use of satisfactory water supply – not contaminated by sewage – proper sewage disposal – exclusion of infected food handlers – good personal hygiene – thorough cleaning and disinfection – effective pest control (flies and rodents in particular) – use of approved suppliers – heat treatment of milk

Typhoid & paratyphoid

causative organism – Salmonella typhi and Salmonella paratyphi

sources – faeces of infected people, contaminated water, shellfish, raw milk, raw fruit, vegetables and salads

incubation period – 7–21 days

symptoms – progressive fever, headache, profuse diarrhoea, ‘rose spots’

Typhoid and paratyphoid

cause of illness – enteric fever/organisms infect bloodstream/very low infective dose

control measures: use of satisfactory water supply – not contaminated by sewage – proper sewage disposal – exclusion of infected food handlers – good personal hygiene – thorough cleaning and disinfection – effective pest control (flies and rodents in particular) – use of approved suppliers – heat treatment of milk

Viral gastroenteritis

causative organism – Norovirus

sources – in air, via faecal-oral route, via hand or food contact surfaces, sewage contaminated water, water filtering shellfish, raw vegetables and salad

incubation period – 1–2 days

symptoms – nausea, vomiting (often projectile), diarrhoea, abdominal pain

Viral gastroenteritis

cause of illness – viral infection/once ingested virus multiplies in the body and causes illness/very low infective dose

control measures: safe water supply – not contaminated with sewage (especially irrigation water) – approved suppliers – washing of raw vegetables and salad – exclusion of infected food handlers – good personal hygiene

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