Essay Sample on Prevalence of Food-Borne Infections

Published: 2023-03-16
Essay Sample on Prevalence of Food-Borne Infections
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Food Public health
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 922 words
8 min read


Nearly all Americans are susceptible to the effects of food-borne diseases. This has become a significant public health concern. Food-borne diseases such as Salmonellosis are preventable, and germs and bacteria cause them in the food. The bacteria thrive on the menu due to poor storage or undercooking. Examples of food-borne bacteria include E. coli, Salmonella, listeria, vibrio, Cyclospora, and norovirus. Contaminated food such as milk, raw meat, undercooked eggs, ground beef, or fresh meat is the leading cause of these infections.

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Food Safety

Salmonellosis is a severe infection affecting many people in the U.S. it is caused a bacterium, salmonella. Salmonellosis fever, diarrhea and abdominal pains. According to the CDC (2016), these symptoms usually develop in a span of 12 to 72 hours. In most individuals, they recover having undergone treatment, which takes at least 4-7 days, as documented by the CDC (2016). Moreover, the CDC records the severity of the infection that affects over 1.2 million people and causes over 450 mortalities each year in the U.S.

Preventing such infections would take a few steps, coupled with an increase in the safety levels of foods. Generally, meals should be adequately cooked to kill any bacteria, such as Salmonella. This way, people will avoid consuming raw food or raw parts of food, such as in milk or eggs. Moreover, it is an essential general rule that hands should be washed appropriately before food handling. Hands should be washed with clean running or warm water and soap. This prevents any contamination of food by killing any bacteria on your hands. Also, it is essential to have some foods to attain specified temperatures when cooking. For instance, the chicken should achieve an internal temperature of 165 A oF while beef should achieve a temperature of 160 A oF (CDC, 2016). Notably, most food is nowadays cooked in the microwave. However, it is crucial to ensure that raw foods are not prepared in microwaves because they may not attain a reasonable temperature to destroy and kill the bacteria. Another strategy to prevent contamination is the separation of food. When shopping for groceries, it is vital to have a separate bag for them when also shopping for other products like poultry, meat, or fish. Moreover, during the storage of food, it is also a relevant discipline to store them separately. For instance, raw food can be stored in a refrigerator at a time, while other cooked meals should not be stored with raw food simultaneously.


The practice of reheating leftovers is authentic. However, it is not enough to know that reheating leftovers is a real issue but ask ourselves whether it is safe for human health. This is a common practice among many families who would opt to cook large quantities of food over the weekend to save time. However, several concerns arise regarding reheating leftovers. First, the food is not always prepared at the right temperatures, thus making it unsafe for human consumption (, 2017). Secondly, the food is usually stored under dangerous temperatures that may render it stale or provide a breeding ground for bacteria and other pathogens. Failure to correctly store food results in foodborne pathogens, which are bacteria that thrive on poorly, handled leftovers. Leftovers should be hygienically handled and stored to prevent harmful bacteria from growing in it (, 2017). Besides, reheating leftovers kills the bacteria that may have grown on it. There are several recommendations to the practice of reheating leftovers.

First, airtight seals and containers should be used for covering leftovers to protect against bacterial contamination. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (2015), any food should only be kept "in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and 3 to 4 months in a freezer". Also, leftovers can be thawed in safe ways such as putting food in cold water, microwaves, or refrigerators. Moreover, reheating without melting the menu is a reliable mechanism to enhance the safety of the food. However, it is vital to keep temperatures at 165 oF when thawing (United States Department of Agriculture, 2015). A thermometer can be used to ensure the temperatures are attained.

When food is placed in a microwave, it is important to cover it as covering food allows the accumulation of moisture that destroys harmful bacteria. Besides, the leftovers stored in refrigerators can develop spoilage and pathogenic bacteria, primarily when the temperatures used for storage do not lie within the recommended range. Low temperatures favor the growth of spoilage bacteria or when food has stayed for a more extended period in the refrigerator (, 2017). Under low temperatures, spoilage bacteria will grow on food. If these recommendations are well-practiced, I believe leftovers can be safe for reheating and consumption.


The prevalence of food-borne infections is a common phenomenon, yet most people do not realize it until they show signs. Practicing food safety while cooking and handing food is vital in protecting yourself, family, and friends. Infections like Salmonellosis can be prevented if the guidelines provided for by the CDC are adhered to. Most importantly, proper hand washing should be prioritized by everyone before and after handling food. Reheating leftovers is safe provided the guidelines for storage are adhered to; otherwise, it will lead to food spoilage and cause serious infections.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention {CDC}. (2016). Prevention | General Information | Salmonella | CDC. Retrieved from (2017, September 17). Food Code [Video file]. Retrieved from

United States Department of Agriculture. (2015, March 23). Refrigeration and Food Safety. Retrieved from

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