Food as a risk expert warns of increased food infections

More and more infections caused by contaminated food?

Contaminated food can lead to various infectious diseases and are an extremely serious Problem, which also illustrates the relatively high number of the so-called “Food-borne outbreaks” in the “infection epidemiological Yearbook of notifiable diseases in 2017,” the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). However, the infection risk can, for example, by a proper handling of the food is significantly reduced.

The specialist in children’s infectious diseases Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse from the renowned Mayo Clinic (USA) explained in a recent press release, the risks and possible prevention measures for food borne infections. In view of the increasing number of food-borne diseases, all the consumers were called inside and the consumers to take certain safety precautions when dealing with food.

Chicken meat is only one of many possible sources of food borne infections. (Photo: Jacek Chabraszewski/

CDC report rise in the number of food infections

“There are more than 250 different types of infections or diseases that you can get through food and water,” explains Dr. Rajapakse. Most common causes of food-borne diseases contamination with viruses, bacteria and parasites, but also certain toxins or chemicals are sometimes the trigger. Overall, the number of food-borne diseases has increased in the United States last significantly, according to the expert, citing a report by the US health authority CDC (Centers for desease control and Prevention). Therefore, especially Campylobacter and Salmonella are particularly many food infections were responsible. Compared to the previous year, the largest increase in number of cases have been shown to pay in the case of the so-called Cyclospora infections.

Cross-contamination in food to avoid

However, there are ways to protect against the infections, said Dr. Rajapakse. For example, it is important to avoid cross-contamination of food products urgently. “This means raw meat and poultry stored separately from fruit and vegetables, and prepare, in order to avoid Transmission of bacteria from one product to the other,” says the expert. This was particularly important because fruits and vegetables are often eaten uncooked. “The Heating of food at high temperatures helps some of the bacteria and to reduce the risk of food-borne illness,” said Dr. Rajapakse.

Chicken meat is often the trigger

In Germany, the RKI-and the Yearbook of the reportable food be recognized in infections and significant fluctuations between the individual years. A fundamental Trend of rising case numbers at first glance are not noticeable. However, the RKI explicitly points to the high number of Campylobacter-infections and stresses that the most important risk factor was the consumption of chicken meat. In General, the food infections are caused in this country, most frequently by meat products, followed by milk and milk products and Egg and egg products. The proper precautions for storage and preparation can reduce the risk of infection significantly.

Signs of a food infection

As a possible symptoms of a food-borne disease, the expert describes, especially Nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. “If you believe that you have a food infection, it is first of all, the most Important thing, make sure you stay well hydrated,” says Dr. Rajapakse. A sufficient intake of liquids is therefore a matter of urgency. In particular, for already weakened people the infections can be otherwise life-threatening. The good news, however, is that most of the people recover without medical help. However, the food remain-related diseases a serious threat to the health, the conclusion of the US-expert.(fp)