Pathogens

Everthing about Cryptosporidium,Escherichia Coli & Listeria

Cryptosporidium

Cryptosporidiosis (or "Crypto" for short) is caused when parasites travel to your intestines, where they settle into the walls of your intestines. You can become infected with cryptosporidia by touching anything that has come in contact with contaminated feces.

Causes of Cryptosporidium

-Drinking contaminated water that contains Cryptosporidium parasites

  • -Swimming in contaminated water that contains Cryptosporidium parasites and accidentally swallowing or drinking it
  • -Eating uncooked, contaminated food that contains Cryptosporidia
  • -Touching your hand to your mouth if a hand has been in contact with contaminated surfaces
  • -Having close contact with other infected people or animals — especially their feces — which can allow the parasite to be transmitted from your hands to your mouth
  • Symptoms of Cryptosporidium

    Symptoms of the cryptosporidium infection usually appear a week after being infected. Some symptoms may include:

    • Watery diarrhea
    • Dehydration
    • Lack of appetite
    • Weight loss
    • Stomach cramps or pain
    • Fever
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting

    Sometime, you don't have any symptoms at all. Symptoms can last up to two weeks, but they can come and go as long as a month, even with people who have completely healthy immune systems.

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    How to Prevent Cryptosporidium

    Some ways we can prevent Cryptosporidium are the following:


    • Practice good hygiene
    • Thoroughly wash produce
    • Avoid eating foods that you might think are contaminated
    • Purify water (by boiling or filtering)
    • Limit swimming activities

    Escherichia Coli

    Escherichia Coli ( also knows as E.coli ) is a bacteria that lives in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most types of E. coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. But in some cases of E.coli, that isn't the case.

    Causes of Escherichia Coli

    Unlike many other types of bacteria, E. coli can cause an infection even if you ingest a small amounts. Because of this, you can become ill by E. coli from eating a slightly under cooked hamburgers or from swallowing a mouthful of contaminated pool water. There are three ways someone can come in contact with E.coli. The most common way to get an E. coli infection is by eating contaminated food like:


    • Ground beef. When cattle are slaughtered and processed, E. coli bacteria in their intestines can get on the meat. Ground beef combines meat from many different animals, increasing the risk of contamination.
    • Unpasteurized milk. E. coli bacteria can come from a cow's udder or on milking equipment that can get into raw milk.
    • Fresh produce. Runoff from cattle farms can contaminate fields where fresh produce is grown. Certain vegetables, such as spinach and lettuce, are particularly open to this type of contamination.


    The second way to get E.coli is from using contaminated water. It is possible for human and animal feces to pollute ground and surface water which including streams, rivers, lakes, etc.... Even though public water systems use a disinfecting systems to kill E. coli, private properties that get their water supplies from wells don't necessarily have a disinfecting system.


    The third way to get E.coli is personal contact. E. coli can travel from person to person, especially when infected adults and children don't wash their hands properly. Family members that have young children with E.coli are likely to get it themselves. Outbreaks have also happen among people who visit petting zoos.

    Symptoms of Escherichia Coli

    Symptoms of E. coli can begin three-four days after exposure to the bacteria, though you can become ill as soon as one day after to more than a week later. The common symptoms for E.coli are:
    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal cramping, pain or tenderness
    • Nausea and vomiting

    Contact a doctor if diarrhea is severe.

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    How to Prevent Escherichia Coli

    Some ways we can prevent E.coli are the following:


    • Avoid eating high-risk foods, especially undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized milk or juice, soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, or alfalfa sprouts.
    • Use a food thermometer to make sure that ground beef has reached a safe internal temperature of 160° F.
    • Wash hands before preparing food
    • Wash raw produce thoroughly

    Listeria

    Listeria is a foodborne illness that someone can get by eating improperly processed deli meats and unpasteurized milk products. People with good health rarely become ill from Listeria, but it can be fatal to pregnant women and unborn babies, newborns, and people with weakened immune systems- they are at a higher risk of life-threatening complications.

    Causes of Listeria

    Listeria is found in soil, water and some animals, including poultry and cattle. It can be present in raw milk and foods made from raw milk. It can also be in food processing plants and contaminate a variety of processed meats. People can get Listeria by consuming the following:


    • Raw vegetables that have been contaminated from the soil
    • Unpasteurized meat
    • Unpasteurized milk
    • Foods made with unpasteurized milk or meat
    • Certain processed foods — such as soft cheeses, hot dogs and deli meats that have been contaminated after processing

    Symptoms of Listeria

    Symptoms for Listeria can begin a few days after you've eaten contaminated food, but it may take as long as two months before the first signs and symptoms for Listeria to begin. Symptoms may include:

    • Fever
    • Muscle aches
    • Nausea
    • Diarrhea
    • Headache
    • Stiff neck
    • Confusion or changes in alertness
    • Loss of balance
    • Convulsions


    If in suspicion of eating contaminated food and experienced with any of the symptoms, contact doctor and seek care immediately.

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    How to Prevent Listeria

    Some ways we can prevent Listeria are the following:


    • Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk
    • Do not eat foods that have unpasteurized milk products or meat products in them.
    • Rinse produce thoroughly under water before eating.
    • Keep uncooked meats, poultry, and seafood separate from vegetables, fruits, cooked foods, and ready-to-eat foods.
    • Thoroughly cook food raw meat, poultry, or seafood
    • Wash hands, knives, countertops, and cutting boards after handling and preparing uncooked foods.
    • Consume perishable and ready-to-eat foods as soon as possible.
    • Persons in higher risk groups (people with weakened immune systems, elders, pregnant women) should heat hot dogs, cold cuts, and deli meats before eating them.

    Ways to Prevent Pathogens on our Kitchen

    We can prevent pathogens in our kitchen not only to keep others and the food they eat safe, but ourselves too. Here are some ways for us to keep our kitchen running smoothly and pathogen-free:


    • Wash hands, knives, countertops, and cutting boards after handling and preparing uncooked foods.
    • Rinse raw produce thoroughly under running tap water before eating.
    • Store foods properly to avoid cross contamination
    • Practice good hygiene
    • Keep foods at safe temperatures
    • Avoid foods and water from unsafe sources
    • Cook foods thoroughly
    • Avoid Cross Contamination

    Pathogens and You