Food poisoning triggering agent

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Food poisoning is a common problem in the poor socio-economic societies. Most of the times, bacteria are involved in this problem whenever they find a chance to grow in the food stored in poor hygienic conditions. In Pakistan normal environmental temperature and humidity favour the rapid growth of microbes. So there are a lot of chances prevail for the food spoilage if not properly stored at low temperature. One of the most common bacteria involve in the food poisoning is Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens). The common source of this bacterial contamination in the food is meat (poultry, mutton, beef). This bacteria love to grow in the meat and meat products especially in the canned products.
This bacterium is responsible for the food poisoning cases in humans worldwide. Although cooking can destroy bacteria but this bacterium makes spores that are resistant to heating. If cooked food refrigerated improperly, the spore can be converted into viable bacteria and grow rapidly producing lethal toxins. Epsilon toxin of C. perfringens is considered 3rd most potent toxin after Botulinum and tetanus. C. perfringens type A food poisoning is ranked 3rd in food borne diseases. Centre for disease control and prevention (CDC) that is American federal agency, ranked the epsilon toxin of C. perfringens as Category B bioterrorism agent. Most of the outbreaks of food poisoning by these bacteria occur when the large amount of food is prepared and kept warm for longer time as in the cafeteria, prisons, nursing homes or catering events.
How can it be prevented? Store cooked food out of the 12-60 °C temperature range. Refrigerate cooked perishable food within 2 hours of cooking. Leftover food should be stored in the shallow containers in the refrigerator.
KASHIF HUSSAIN, DR M IJAZ
Via email