Foodborne illness, or food poisoning, is an illness caused by food contaminated with microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Food contamination can develop from, to name a few, unpasteurized foods, contaminated surfaces and workplace environment, and improper food handling.
In a 2011 study, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that the most common foodborne illnesses are caused by norovirus and by the bacteria Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter. The E. coli bacterium is another major contributor of foodborne illness and both E. coli and norovirus have frequently been on the news. E. coli 0157:H7 can be antibiotic resistant and can cause bloody diarrhea, kidney failure, and death. E. coli is known to survive 1.5 hours – 16 months on a dry inanimate surface. Norovirus, also known as cruise ship sickness, causes acute gastroenteritis and is easily spread through contaminated surfaces and contact with infected people. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.
There can be many factors that contribute to food contamination. It could start from the animal origin, such as raw meat and unpasteurized milk, to environmental conditions, such as the cleanliness of the processing plants, or food handling practices, such as in restaurants and homes. People who work in the food service industry, or individuals who handle food in general, should be able to provide an environment safe for food handling. Chemicals sanitizers and disinfects such as 256 Century Q, 64 Millennium Q, MC-10 Sanitizer, and Century Q Wipes have effective kill claims per EPA against numerous bacteria, including norovirus, that can cause foodborne illness. Be sure to follow the manufactures instructions on how to use the disinfectants and sanitizers; check out the Tips on using disinfectants blog for proper usage information.
For a listing of Multi-Clean disinfectants and sanitizers, please visit Multi-Clean’s Disinfectant webpage.