Public service bulletin
A number of the states’ health indicators used to illustrate the daily realities of the religion have in recent days been reflecting a disturbing increase in food-borne illness related to the Campylobacter bacteria. The undesirable effects of this kind of poisoning on the quality of life cannot be ignored owing to the fact that its control touches on each and every aspect of state administration which in turn calls for an unnecessary strain on the already stretched resources. It has come to the revelation of the state’s public health officials that the rapid increase and spread of food poisoning in recent days can be directly related to unsanitary handling of food, emanating from both ignorance and lack of information. This growing concern has necessitated the release of this bulletin to serve as a guide on the necessary information regarding campylobacter poisoning as well as how and where to obtain the relevant information regarding this type of illness.
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What is foodborne illness?
Food-borne illness, which is sometimes known as food poisoning, is a condition that arises as a result of eating food contaminated with harmful agents. The most common cause of food poisoning in the United States is the bacterium going by the scientific name Campylobacter jejuni (Brown, 2007). An approximate 800, 000 cases of campylobacter poisoning are reported on a yearly basis but the real numbers of this kind of illness could be higher owing to the fact that most people do not seek treatment appropriate treatment (Bjorklund, 2006). Children below five years of age and young adults (ages 15-30) are the most common victims of Campylobacter poisoning. The primary symptom of Campylobacter poisoning is diarrhea which is usually bloody. Depending on the level of infection, diarrhea can range from mild to severe and comes accompanied by incidents of nausea and vomiting. Other symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
Safety issues in the prevention of Campylobacter infection
When contaminated food is stored at room temperature, it can easily attract Campylobacter jejuni. The bacterium, however, can easily be destroyed owing to its sensitivity to heat and other sterilization routines such as pasteurization and chlorination. Handlers of food should consider the following safety measures before presenting the food for consumption in order to prevent the development of infection (Fein, Levy and Lin, 1996).
- When preparing chicken, turkey, duck or any other type of poultry, ensure that all the thick sections reach 166 degrees Fahrenheit (75C)
- When transporting raw meat and chicken in a car, ensure that it is placed in the coolest section of the vehicle
- All types of animal and bird meat should be defrosted inside the refrigerator or by using a microwave. During this procedure, care should be taken to ensure that no dripping occurs
- When stuffing poultry, the stuffing should be prepared separately as opposed to cooking it while inside the bird
- Food should never be kept outside at room temperature for more than 2 hours
- Fresh milk should be boiled properly before consumption. It however is advisable to always use pasteurized milk
- Fruits and vegetables should be carefully cleansed before eating
Criteria for determining credible sources of nutritional information
When searching for nutritional information on the internet, the first pointer to the credibility of the information is the type of institution responsible for the publication. The suffix of the website is one of the ultimate guides to identifying the nature of the publishing institution..edu,.gov,.org point to educational institutions, state agencies and approved non-governmental organizations and as such the information they contain is most certainly verified. Commercial websites-those with suffixes such as.com may not contain credible information that can be relied on like that in websites with the suffixes listed above. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and online postings from the local health department are among the credible sources of medical and nutritional information.
The information in the websites and databases should also be given a proper citation and should contain information based on more than one study. There should be a substantial amount of data supporting the information on the website mainly because proper research tends to take a long period of research and investigation.
It is important that proper criteria be followed when selecting nutritional information because when it comes to health, knowledge is key. It is important to have all the facts at hand as this will determine whether the information obtained if put into use will result in positive or negative effects on the individual.
Bjorklund, R. (2006). Food-borne illnesses. United Kingdom: Marshall Cavendish
Brown, A.C. (2007). Understanding Food: Principles and preparation. Connecticut:Cengage Learning
Fein, S.B., Levy, A.S. & Lin, C.J. (1996). Foodborne illness: perceptions, experience, and preventive behaviors in the United States. Connecticut: Food Marketing Policy Center, Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Connecticut