Food poisoning and hygiene

Infections, poisoning, poisoning.

It must first be able to distinguish between food-borne infections, food poisoning (or poisoning), and poisonings.

The food infection is the disease caused by the presence in the food of the only infectious agent.

 The poisoning (or poisoning) foods are a group of acute gastrointestinal character syndromes caused by taking food containing toxins produced by certain microorganisms.

The food poisoning is caused by poisons, ie substances cha cause more or less serious alterations of the human body; poisoning can also cause death.


The danger of infections and food poisoning is eliminated curing and guaranteeing the hygiene for the whole of the food chain.

The matter regarding hygiene is of course governed by laws, of which the most important is the Legislative Decree no. 155/97, under which all the articles, fittings and equipment that come into contact with food are to be maintained clean, and designed and constructed in a material which, if maintained in good condition and subjected to regular maintenance, make minimum the risks of contamination.

Today, technology allows to operate in conditions of absolute hygiene; some special processing steps can be conducted even in an aseptic way (in general, the term asepsis is meant the complete absence of pathogenic microorganisms and non-pathogenic as a result of sterilization).


Obviously, this is useless if then the final consumer does not follow the normal hygiene practices (antisepsis), sometimes because of an incorrect complete understanding of prophylactic rules (in general, the term prophylaxis is the set of policies and measures that serve to prevent the occurrence of infectious diseases and to prevent them from spreading).

Forms of intoxication.

The main staphylococcal food poisoning is the poisoning, salmonella, botulinum poisoning (botulism), the coliforms, streptococci and Clostridium perfringens.

Short description

Staphylococcal toxic infections

Staphylococcal toxic infections: prophylaxis consists in observing the most scrupulous hygiene standards in food preparation, the screening of staff working on and selling groceries.


Salmonellosis: the problem is preventive health, particularly in slaughterhouses, milk collection centers, etc; individual prevention is based on cooking food (though the heat can avoid infection by destroying germs, but not the action of the toxin, which is heat-resistant).

Botulinum poisoning.

Botulinum poisoning: due to botulinum, a spore-forming microbes in itself not overly dangerous, because it is ill-suited to internal conditions of the body, but that processes a very active toxin and dangerous even in very small doses.

And 'more common in animal products sausages (sausages), but generally also in the food, industrial or preserves (less often, and for reasons of expired product) that preserves produced by hand or at home (more often!); wary of those boxes with bulging bottom, or that, once opened, give rise to development of gas and / or to the characteristic odor of butyric acid. Remedies: sterilizing the containers and the foodstuff (the latter must boil for at least 15 minutes); brine (salt> 6%), under vinegar (vinegar> 3%), sugar solutions, jams (sugar> 60%).

Coliforms, streptococci, Clostridium perfringens

Germs such as coliforms, streptococci and Clostridium perfringens, under certain conditions, may develop because of toxins enteropathy.


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