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EESA10H3 Lecture Notes - Botulinum Toxin, Botulism, Cutting Board

Environmental Science
Course Code
Jovan Stefanovic

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Lecture 8: Foodborne Hazards and Human Health
It must be something I ate
Foodborne illnesses
_ Bacteria
Escherichia coli
_ Viruses
_ Parasites
Nontransmissible (can not transfer from person to person)
_ Shellfish-associated toxins
_ Color additives
_ Bioengineered foods
_ Obesity
_ Diabetes
Transmissible Foodborne illnesses
Canada has safe food produce but still there are cases.
Types of food:
_ Meat, milk, dairy products (cheese, ice cream etc), unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juices,
raw or undercooked eggs, chicken, tuna, potato and macaroni salads, cream filled pastries, fresh
produce (some veggies: spinach etc), spices, chocolate, seafood
_ Careless food handling (food standing too long on the room temperature, improper cooking,
contaminated cutting boards and kitchen tools)
Symptoms of Foodborne illness
Diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, vomiting, headache, sometimes blood in the stool
_ Usually last only a day or two (bacteria usually) sometimes 7- 10 days (mostly for viruses and
_ For most people not life threatening i.e. vomiting, headaches in kids. Elders have weak
immunity and some other people who have other problems.
_ Severe in the young children, the very old and people with certain diseases and conditions such
as liver disease, iron disorder, diabetes, cancer.
Prevention of Foodborne illnesses
_ In supermarket: when u enter it, pick your packages and canned food first. Don’t pick stuff
that’s damaged. Check expiration date. If you have a weak immune system, avoid seafood and
risky food. Choose eggs that are refrigerated in the store.
Biggest source of contamination is the cutting board or kitchen table. Use bleach to wash it
properly, disinfect germs.
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_ Safe storage
_ Safe food preparation
_ Keep everything clean
_ Keep hot food hot and cold food cold
_ Cook properly
_ Proper storage of leftovers
_ Wash hands
Bacteria: Escherichia coli
_ Food poisoning usually associated with eating unwashed vegetables and meat contaminated
post-slaughter (like kitchen board)
_ Grounded beef biggest source of contaminated meat
_ Diarrhea, abdominal cramps
_ Complications Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in which the red blood cells are destroyed and
kidneys fail (2-7% cases)
Bacteria: Salmonellosis - illness (Salmonella is the bacteria)
_ Reptiles like small turtles are common source of the illness
_ Spinach
_ Usually no need for treatment
Bacteria: Botulism
_ Rare (5-10 people) but serious illness (fatal)
_ Nerve toxin of bacterium Clostridium botulinum
_ Caused by the toxin made by C. botulinum, not by the bacterium itself
_ Commercially canned goods undergo "botulinum cook" at 121 °C (250 °F) for 3 minutes
_ Home-canned foods
_ Unusual sources:
_ Garlic or herbs stored covered in oil
_ Improperly handled baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil,
_ Home-canned or fermented fish (stored fish)
Main kinds of botulism
1. Foodbourne botulism: Consuming of food already contaminated of toxins.
2. Wound botulism: Contamination of the wound by the bacteria. Entrance is different
3. Infant botulism: Kids can produce spores of the C. botulism and then in their bodies the
bacteria can produce toxins.
Symptoms of Foodborn botulism
_ Occur between 12–36 hours after consuming the botulinum toxin: very serious symptoms
Many neural defects:
_ Double and/or blurred vision
_ Difficulty swallowing, severe constipation
_ Muscle weakness, lead to body paralysis
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