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Food Safety Bulletin


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Food Safety Bulletin
The city of Phoenix, Arizona has reported a drastic rise in food-borne illness cases resulting in this public service bulletin. State and local governments responsible for inspecting restaurants, grocery stores, and retail establishments, dairy farms, grain mills, and food manufacturing establishments have identified pathogens in our local food supply. It is reported that 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 people a year actually die from food-borne illnesses.

Although the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system is in place to provide safe food to the market place, it is essential all consumers take extra care and precautions keeping food safe in the wake of this drastic rise in food-borne epidemic. Pathogens in our food are:

• Bacteria in Food
• Viruses in Food
• Moldy Foods
• Parasites in Food
• Prions in Food

Phoenix has experience and increase in bacteria and virus in food incidents.

Bacteria in food can be contaminated before harvested and make their way to the dinner table of unprepared foods. Good agricultural practices can reduce the risk but contamination can also occur during processing, transportation, handling, or storage. It is up to the consumer to learn to handle, store, and prepare food safely to prevent food-borne illness.

Viruses in food are the most common causes of food-borne illness, which include bacteria, viruses, molds, and parasites. This can cause flulike symptoms, including abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Even more serious, consumers may develop kidney failure, arthritis, paralysis, miscarriage, or death. Unlike bacteria, viruses can only reproduce inside human cells. Cooking destroys the virus in food with appropriate preparation.

Consumers should be familiar with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a database, Everything Added to Food in the United States that list more than 3,000 additives. Consumers should also read what is on the label and identify what the additive does for the food, and human body.

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