Food Safety Glossary





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Carl Copeland, EzineArticles.com Basic Author

"Food Safety Terms for your Kitchen Health Concerns"

Because Food Storage and Food Safety go hand in hand we thought we would provide you with this short but informative glossary of common terms associated with food borne illness. Information and preventive measures are your best bet for combating certain illnesses.





Bacteria: Living single-celled organisms. They can be

Biological hazard: Refers to the danger of food contamination by disease-causing microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi) and their toxins and by certain plants and fish that carry natural toxins.

Contamination: The unintended presence of potentially harmful substances, including microorganisms in food.

Cross-contamination: The transfer of harmful substances or disease-causing microorganisms to food by hands, food-contact surfaces, sponges, cloth towels, and utensils that touch raw food, are not cleaned, and then touch ready-to-eat foods.

Cross-contamination: can also occur when raw food touches or drips onto cooked or ready-to-eat foods.

Cryptosporidium parvum: is a one-celled animal (protozoa) that can cause foodborne illness.



Escherichia coli 0157 :H7 is a strain of enteropathic E. coli found in ground beef,raw milk,chicken.

Food borne illness: A disease that is carried or transmitted to humans by food containing harmful substances. Examples are the disease salmonellas, which is caused by Salmonella bacteria and the disease botulism, which is caused by the toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum.

Food contact surface: Any equipment or utensil that normally comes in contact with food or that may drain, drip, or splash on food or on surfaces normally in contact with food. Examples: cutting boards, knives, sponges, countertops, and colanders.

Fungi: A group of microorganisms that includes molds and yeasts. Incidence: The number of new cases of food borne illness in a given population during a specified period (e.g., the number of new cases per 100,000 population per year).

Listeriosis: an infection with Listeria monocytogenes usually found in vegetables, milk, cheese, meat, seafood

Microorganism: A small life form, seen only through a microscope, which may cause disease. Examples: bacteria, fungi, parasites, or viruses.

Norwalk virus: is a virus that contaminates raw oysters/shellfish, water and ice, salads, frosting, person-to-person contact.

Outbreak: An incident in which two or more people experience the same illness after eating the same food.

Parasite: A microorganism that needs a host to survive. Examples: Cryptosporidium, Toxoplasmosis.

Pathogen: A microorganism that is infectious and causes disease.

Potentially hazardous food: is moist, high-protein, low acid foods that consist, in whole or in part, of milk or milk products, shell eggs, meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, baked or boiled potatoes, tofu and other soy-protein foods, plant foods that have been heat-treated, raw seed sprouts, or synthetic ingredients.

Salmonellosis,: is an infection with Salmonella species. Found in meat, poultry, egg or milk products.

Spore: A thick-walled protective structure produced by certain bacteria and fungi to protect their cells. Spores often survive cooking, freezing, and some sanitizing measures.

Staphylococcus: is a toxin produced by certain strains of Staphylococcus aureus; often found in custard or cream-filled baked goods, ham, poultry, eggs, potato salad, cream sauces, sandwich fillings

Toxins: Poisons that are produced by microorganisms, carried by fish or released by plants. Examples: Botulism caused by the toxin from Clostridium botulinum, scombroid poisoning from the naturally occurring scombroid toxin in some improperly refrigerated fish, such as mackerel and tuna.

Toxoplasma gondii: is a parasitic infection caused by contamination from rat, rodent or bird feces; litter boxes.

Virus: A protein-wrapped genetic material which is the smallest and simplest life-form known. Example: Norovirus, hepatitis A.