Four types of pathogens can contaminate food and cause foodborne illness:
Bacteria, Viruses, Parasites and Fungi.
What Bacteria Need to Grow
Most bacteria need FAT TOM – nutrients, acidity, time, temperature, oxygen (some bacteria need oxygen to grow, while others grow when oxygen isn’t there) and moisture.
aw = water activity; the amount of moisture available in food for bacterial growth
aw scale ranges from 0.0 to 1.0
Water has a water activity of 1.0
The FDA has identified three types of bacteria that cause severe illness and are highly contagious:
Enterohemorrhagic and shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli
The FDA has identified two viruses that are highly contagious
and can cause severe illness:
Feces and water contaminated with feces
Food handlers diagnosed with an illness from hepatitis A or Norovirus must not work in an operation while they are sick.
Require a host to live and reproduce
Seafood, wild game, and food processed with contaminated water, such as produce
Purchase food from approved, reputable suppliers
Yeasts, molds, and mushrooms: