Foodborne Competition. Essay

2309 words - 9 pages

A look at how competition in the marketplace effects outbreaks on foodborne illnesses.Every day millions of Americans eat a variety of foods at many different places. Some choose to shop for their own groceries; while some choose to go out to eat or to purchase something ready to eat to bring home. No matter what choice is made there is always the risk for possible infection or foodborne illnesses. With such a variety of food options to choose from, consumers are left to make a purchasing decision. With the unending competition in the food industry, many manufacturers provide lower quality foods at lower prices to outsell their competitors. Competition in the marketplace has a direct effect on the increasing outbreaks of foodborne illnesses.Foodborne illnesses have been around ever since people decided to eat food, which is probably a very long time. Foodborne illness often presents itself as flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, so many people may not recognize the illness is caused by bacteria or other pathogens in food (USDA). Some of the common foodborne illnesses are Botulism, Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Botulism is a serious illness that causes flaccid paralysis of muscles (MedicineNet). Botulism is one of the most, if not the most, lethal food toxin that can be consumed. Botulism is produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. Campylobacter is a gram negative, microaerophilic bacterium and is one of the most common bacterial causes of diarrheal illness in the United States (CDC). This bacterium is the second most common reported foodborne illness in the United States. The bacterium comes from the intestines of many wild and domestic animals. They can pass out the animal's body and into the feces and also contaminate water. Compared to the others, campylobacter is on the extreme rise and is currently not tested for in foods (NPR). E. coli O157:H7 is one of hundreds of strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Although most strains are harmless, this strain produces a powerful toxin that can cause severe illness. E. coli O157:H7 has been found in the intestines of healthy cattle, deer, goats, and sheep (CDC). E. coli is the leading cause of foodborne illness today in the United States and in 1999 was responsible for 73,000 cases of illness and 61 deaths (USDA). Listeriosis, a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, has recently been recognized as an important public health problem in the United States. The disease affects primarily pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems. An estimated 2,500 people are infected with Listeriosis every year in the United States. Out of this 2,500 a very high twenty percent of people will die. Salmonellosis is an infection with a bacterium called Salmonella. Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The...

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