It is essential to consume safe food as there are many types of food hazards that can cause serious illness. The hazards may be biological, chemical, or physical agents that turn safe food into unsafe food. One has to be alert and attentive while consuming food.
The first category of biological hazards is caused by bacteria, yeasts, parasites or viruses. Some bacteria make are capable of making poisons, which cannot be destroyed with cooking. Parasites need a living host to reproduce. They are present in air, water, food, animals, humans and soil too! Thus, biological hazards are all around you. These are known to cause food infections. This in turn may lead to diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever, abdominal pain. An acute case may lead to death as well. They carry the highest frequency of occurrence in humans. A list of the microorganisms that cause biological food hazards are as follows- species of Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, clostridium perfringens, shigella, listeria monocytogenes, clostridium botulinum, hepatitis A, rotovirus and campylobacter. Of all the three food hazards (biological, physical and chemical), biological hazards are of the greatest concern.
Physical hazards point to appearance of foreign bodies in the food available. This is a very common from all the types of food hazards. This happens due to unknown and unintentional contamination of food. It may be because of poor handling. Many incidents have been reported worldwide where consumers found foreign objects such as glass, paper, metal, soil, stones, jewelry, hair, bone, nuts and bolts, wire, plastic, fingernails etc in the food served. These objects may themselves be dirty and unhygienic, thus surfacing as a source of physical hazard. This can be clearly prevented if the consumer is vigilant.
Chemical hazards, as the name suggests spoils the edible food due to the presence of chemicals. Chemical hazards from the other types of food hazards are extremely dangerous. They can attack the body severely and result in serious illness. Cleaning chemical residues are at times found in food. The most common is the factory chemical contamination. Chemicals such as lubricants, paints, pest control chemicals etc are known to cause hazards. Industrial heavy metals too are a cause of worry. Metals such as zinc, lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium can be extremely dangerous to the body. Most of the times they seep into the soil, thus the plant that grows is already infected. Agricultural chemicals such as pesticides, fungicides, fertilizers etc also fall in the same category.
Thus, these types of food hazards can be effectively controlled once they are identified and acted upon. One should strive to lessen the use of such chemicals. It is equally important to know how to dispose such chemicals which in turn would not despoil the edible food and become a hazard to people worldwide. Some of these hazards can be controlled. As rightly put, health is wealth. Though the human body has its own fighting mechanism but certain external forces which act upon food can be prevented externally itself. All you need is to be cautious! Hope ‘TypesOf.com’ helped you identify a few.