domingo, 9 de octubre de 2011

One-Fifth of consumers more vulnerable to foodborne illness

As many as 20 percent of consumers are more vulnerable to foodborne illness due to their age or health conditions that affect their immune systems.

In addition to the elderly, susceptible people include young children, pregnant women, alcoholics, diabetics and people stricken with AIDS, HIV, various cancers, multiple sclerosis and other diseases that affect their immune systems.
The British medical researchers compiling findings from scores in the U.S. and Europe reconfirms that some people are more vulnerable than others to foodborne pathogens. In most outbreaks of Salmonella, E. coli and other microbial agents, a disproportionate number of reported victims are very young or very old.

The research seeks to quantify that increased risk, and concludes that in the U.S., UK and other developed countries, between 15 percent and 20 percent of the population are more susceptible to foodborne pathogens.

Vulnerability arises often because of immune suppression, through either disease processes or the medications used to manage them, and at the extremes of age or in pregnancy. The vulnerability means that fewer bacteria, especially foodborne or waterborne organisms, are needed to cause disease and increase the severity of the disease.

The key strategy is a diet of food that is less likely to carry pathogens. Their list of "higher risk" foods include:

• Raw or undercooked meat or poultry.
• Raw, undercooked fish, or precooked seafood such as shrimp or crab.
• Unpasteurized milk or foods containing raw eggs (i.e. homemade eggnog).
• Raw sprouts or unwashed vegetables.
• Soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, such as feta, brie, etc.
• Hot dogs and luncheon meats that have not been reheated.
• Unpasteurized, refrigerated pates or meat spreads.


Aporte: Fernando Fuentes Pinochet

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