food-borne disease

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A class of diseases attributable to the contamination of food by disease agents, such as a pathogenic organisms and their toxins. These diseases include many kinds of gastroenteric infections, ranging from mild diarrhea to severe life-threatening diarrhea and vomiting with fluid and electrolyte loss caused by conditions including salmonella, shigella, and staphylococcal gastroenteritis, typhoid, botulism, and more, as well as diseases caused by toxic chemicals of other than biological origin. Some food-borne diseases can also be water-borne diseases, e.g., Salmonella infections and cholera. Foods that are especially vulnerable to food-borne disease include prepared dishes containing milk and eggs, cold meat and meat products that can become culture media for Staphylococcus aureus, and salads that have not been adequately cleansed of contaminants that contain or convey pathogens.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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