The possible sources of food-borne illness
There are many incidences when the food prepared by Jeremiah could have been contaminated. At first, after purchasing the food from the store, Jeremiah visited other places, exposing the beef to a lot of contamination. This was worsened by the fact that the day was hot. After cutting the beef, he used the same knife to cut the vegetables for the salad.
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This means that the vegetables were contaminated. Given that the salad was not exposed to strong heat, this was the main source of food-borne illness that affected other family members. Another possible source of contamination was the fact that the burgers were grilled until they were pink in the middle. This means that the temperature that it was exposed to was not strong enough to make the meat safe for consumption. This explains why everyone who ate the food was affected few hours after taking it.
Areas throughout Jeremiah’s day that could have led him to a serious case of food-borne illness
There are numerous areas throughout Jeremiah’s day that could have exposed him to serious case of food-borne illness. Although Jeremiah did not get sick, he was exposed to contamination when he tasted one of the steaks he had just prepared. The main reason why he was not affected could be that the quantity he took was relatively too small to affect his body.
However, that steak exposed him to contamination because it had been grilled till it was pink in the middle. At that stage, meat is considered not ready for consumption because it is not fully cocked. Given that the meat was already contaminated on the way from the grocery, it required a proper cooking. Jeremiah was also exposed to a possible contamination in the car. After the purchase, Jeremiah visited a sports outlet, exposing the meat to excess heat in the car, which he used to travel home.
Why it is safe for steak to be pink in the middle, but potentially dangerous for a hamburger not to be cooked all the way through
When cutting steak, meat may be exposed to microorganisms such as bacteria which would be on the surface of the steak. It is easier to destroy the bacteria when grilling or cooking the steak because they are not inside the meat but on the surface. This means that when the steak is cooked to be pink in the middle, it would be safe for consumption because the bacteria will be killed.
However, when preparing the hamburger, the meat is cut into smaller pieces, which means that bacteria will be present on the inner parts of the meat. The only way of making this meat safe for consumption would be to cook it all the way through to kill the bacteria on the surface and inside the meat. It would be very dangerous for a hamburger not to be cooked all the way through because the bacteria would not be destroyed (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2012).
How this illness could have been prevented
In order to understand how this illness could have been prevented, it is necessary to determine its probable cause. The illness was caused by bacteria due to poor refrigeration of the food. Martha failed to follow the correct procedure when refrigerating the left-over lasagna.
According to Knightsmith (2012), when refrigerating lasagna, it is very important to understand the right timing within which the food item should be put in a refrigerator upon cooking. Leaving the food substance in an open air for a long time would expose it to bacteria. This may start decomposing the food substance at a rapid rate. When this has happened, it may be of little use trying to refrigerate this food. This is what happened in this case. This illness could have been avoided by putting the food substance in the refrigerator in time.
The most likely micro-organism responsible for this illness based on the incubation period and symptoms of the illness
It is possible to determine the micro-organism responsible for this illness based on the period of incubation and symptoms presented by the illness. Those who ate the food were affected within 2-3 hours after its consumption. The illness was awful, but did not last long. The bacteria must have been Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium takes 1-6 hours after ingestion for its effect to be felt. This is within the range at which Martha’s guests were affected.
Some of the related bacteria take longer time or more than 4 hours for their effect to be felt. For those affected by this bacterium, it takes about 24 hours for its effect to disappear. It is reported that the illness did not last long. This further emphasizes the fact that the bacterium must have been Staphylococcus aureus. Given the fact that this bacterium is associated with poor refrigerated meat, it would be true to state that it was responsible for the illness.
Describe the temperature danger zone
According to Keel (2006), food temperature danger zone refers to the range of temperature within which bacteria can thrive in a food substance. The scholar says that there are some types of food that can be easily affected by bacteria at a very rapid speed.
Such foods as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cooked vegetables, pasta, and sauces are easily affected by bacteria. Food Safety and Inspection Service in the United States has defined a temperature of below 4 and above 60 degrees centigrade as the most appropriate temperature for storing such food.
Temperatures in between the two extremes are defined as food temperature danger zone because they offer good breeding and survival environment for bacteria. They allow these bacteria to throve in the food substance, making it unfit for consumption. They release substances that causes food poisoning, making the food product unfit for human consumption.
How Martha could have sped up the cooling process of the lasagna
From the above case, it is clear that the main problem that brought the contamination was because of the poor refrigeration by Martha. It was wrong to leave the lasagna for 4 hours exposed to the air. This was enough time for the bacteria to affect the food, given that they thrive well in temperatures of 4 to 60 degrees. Martha should have hastened up the cooling process of this food in order to avoid its contamination.
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This can be done in a number of approaches. One of the best ways of doing this would be to spread lasagna on a large plate or tray while still hot, and cover it tightly with aluminum foil. The concept in this case would be to ensure that a larger surface is exposed to the air for cooling, but with a lot of keenness to ensure that the food substance is not contaminated. The aluminum foil would help in preventing any contamination in the air from getting into lasagna.
How the leftover lasagna still led to food-borne illness even after it was thoroughly reheated
It is very possible for the leftover to have been the cause of food-borne illness even after it was properly reheated. The leftover lasagna was exposed to the air for about 4 hours. This was the main reason why this food was contaminated. Within the four hours, Staphylococcus aureus was able to find its way into lasagna.
In fact this bacterium found its way into the food substance after the first one hour when the temperatures lowered to about 60 degrees centigrade. The following two and a half hours was enough to spread into the food. When the food was taken to refrigerator, the bacteria went into an inactive mode. During the reheating, the time taken was not enough to destroy all the bacteria. This means that the bacteria easily found its way into the food substance, causing illness to those who ate it.
The possible cause of Sally and her family members’ illness
The illness suffered by Sally and her family members can be attributed to a viral infection in the food that Sally prepared. According to the symptoms given, the virus that was responsible for this illness must have been Noroviruses. Its effect on the body is always felt after 12 to 48 hours which fits well in the explanation given about the family. This virus has symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramp, fever, and headache, symptoms that were common among the family members. This virus is caused by raw food, uncooked foods, or cooked foods that are not reheated after contamination (Grosvenor & Smolin, 2012). This virus must have come from the knife and board that was used in cutting the raw chicken. That knife and the board were then used to cut the vegetables after a few hours. They were washed by warm water and this cannot kill the virus. The virus found its way into the vegetable which was the source of contamination in the family.
How this illness could have been prevented
This illness could have been prevented by practicing proper hygiene when preparing the meal. Sally should have used a different clean knife and cutting board when cutting the vegetables instead of using the same utensils that were used when cutting chicken. If the same utensils had to be re-used, it would have been important to wash them thoroughly with hot water and soap. This would have destroyed any bacterium or virus that could be on them.
According to the advice given by Keel (2006), Sally should have also avoided putting the marinade in a serving dish for extra sauce to put over the rice. This is so because this heat is not strong enough to destroy some of the microorganisms in it. This means that although this sauce will be hot enough to be put over the rice, the micro-organisms in it would still be present. This would have helped avoid the illness.
Body Fat and Eating Disorders Paper
The body of a human being is composed of several tissues which make organs. These tissues are present in the body at varying percentages. According to Knightsmith (2012), the body is composed of water, protein, minerals, and fat at varying percentages depending on the health of an individual. Fat is one of those important ingredients, but excessive fat has been determined to be dangerous to one’s health.
Some of the health risks associated with obesity include coronary diseases, hypertension, immune malfunction or impairment, cancer, joint and bone disorders, and kidney diseases. It is also associated with psychological disorders among the adolescents and adults. These suffering from obesity would always feel awkward when they are among their peers. This psychological effect reduces their level of confidence when they are among peers.
Obesity has always been associated with excessive consumption of fructose or calories beyond the consumption capacity of the body (Keel, 2006). The excess fructose is stored underneath the skin, which causes obesity. Lack of proper physical exercise is also known to be a causative agent of obesity. Obesity can also be genetically acquired.
Anorexia presents a number of health problems that may affect the normal functioning of the body. Such a person would try to avoid meals and this may deprive the body of the much needed nutrients. Others may be affected psychologically to the extent that they would try to avoid peers because of their low esteem.
Bulimia is another health risk that is common. The erratic eating habits affects the ability of the body to digest food properly, especially when one eats a lot, then makes frantic efforts to avoid gaining weight. Binge-eating may cause sudden increase in body weight, especially if it continues for a long time.
Psychologically, eating disorders may lead to health problems. For example, when one overeats and becomes obese, he or she may be exposed to various health problems. When one avoids eating because of the need to lose weight, he may be faced with diseases associated with malnutrition. Bulimia Nervosa may also affect the digestive system because of the disruptive eating habits.
Grosvenor, M. B., & Smolin, L. A. (2012). Visualizing Nutrition: Everyday choices (2th ed.). Hoboken: John Wiley.
Keel, P. K. (2006). Eating disorders. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.
Knightsmith, P. (2012). Eating disorders pocketbook. Alresford: Teachers’ Pocketbooks.