Food hazards contribute to food borne illnesses, which result in serious health issues and even death. Symptoms of food borne illness include stomach upsets, diarrhea, and vomiting which can be due to eating contaminated food (Friis, 2012). Some of the causes of food hazards include biological hazards, which include parasites, bacteria, and viruses. Biological hazards are caused by mishandling of food and are currently the highest threat for most of the food borne illnesses (Friis, 2012). This includes single celled organisms, which multiply under the poor food handling mechanisms and environment. This may include moisture, acidity, or unfavorable temperatures leading to molds or yeast, which is unsafe for consumption (Friis, 2012). These microorganisms depend on the food nutrients to thrive. Chemical hazards are also other food hazards and include toxins or chemical substances, which contaminate food.
Some of the chemical substances directly result from the food itself that are based on certain types of foods such as the mushrooms (Motarjemi & Lelieveld, 2014). Some toxins are also made by pathogens in the food when the temperature or acidity of the food is changed. The addition of additives to foods such as sulfites can lead to serious health issues to certain individuals who consume the foods (Motarjemi & Lelieveld, 2014). The third food hazard include physical hazards which may include contamination of food with physical contaminants which may include pieces of stones, metal, glass, or plastic which may contaminate food products due to poor handling of the food items (Motarjemi & Lelieveld, 2014). This may cause serious harm to consumers of the food products.
Some of the methods for controlling and preventing these food hazards include proper handling of food products to avoid food contamination. This can include cooking food properly as well as cooling certain foods properly, which will prevent the growth of certain bacteria and fungi (Motarjemi & Lelieveld, 2014). Cooking food properly involves cooking foods at the right temperature and the right directions, which will help kill the harmful bacteria in the food (Motarjemi & Lelieveld, 2014). Foods should also be washed properly to remove any physical contaminants, which may be present in certain types of food products such as vegetables. Safety should also be ensured in the handling and packaging of food items to ensure the safety of the food products as they are moved from one place to another (Motarjemi & Lelieveld, 2014).
Friis, R. H. (2012). Essentials of environmental health. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Motarjemi, Y., & Lelieveld, H. (2014). Food safety management: A practical guide for the food industry. Amsterdam: Academic Press.