• Syed Humayun Shah


Foodborne transmission of pathogenic and toxigenicmicroorganisms has been a recognized hazard fordecades. The dangers of botulism from underprocessed canned foods: staphylococcal poisoningfrom unrefrigerated cream-filled pastries, sliced ham.meat, and poultry salads; and salmonellosis frominfected animal products were known even halfcentury ago. Despite new protective measures,changes in preservation techniques and failure tofollow recognized procedures have created newdangers.Every year, foodborne infections cause millions ofillnesses and thousands of deaths: most infections godiagnosed and unreported Although outbreaks makethe news, most foodborne infections occur asindividual or sporadic cases. Therefore, the sources ofsporadic cases must also be investigated andunderstood.In the developed world substantial progress has beenmade in preventing foodborne diseases. For example,typhoid fever, extremely common at the beginning ofthe 20th century, is now almost forgotten in the UnitedStates. It was conquered in the preantibiotic era bydisinfection of drinking water, sewage treatment, milksanitation and pasteurization, and shellfish bedsanitation. Similarly, cholera, bovine tuberculosis, andtrichinosis have also been controlled in the US


Blake PA, Merson MU. Weaver RE, Hollis DC.

Heublein PC. Disease caused by a marine vibrio:

clinical characteristics and epidemiology. N Engl .1

Med 1979;300:1-5.

Jackson LA, Wenger JD. Listeriosis: a foodbome

disease. Infections in Medicine 1993:10:61-6.

Dekeyser PJ, Gossin-Detrain M, Butzler JP. Sternon J.

Acute enteritis due to related Vibrio: first positive stool

cultures. .1 Infect Dis 1972;125:390-2.

World Health Organization. Worldwide spread of

infections with Yersinia enterocolitica. WHO

Chronicle 1976; 30:494-6.

Rodrigue DC, Tauxe RV, Rowe B. International

increase in Salmonella enteritidis: a new pandemic?

Epidemiol Infect 1990:105:21-7.

Cieslak PR. Noble SJ, Maxson DJ. Empey LC

Ravenholt O, Legarza G, et al. Hamburger-associated

Escherichia cob 0157:117 in Las Vegas: a hidden

epidemic. Am .1 Public Health 1997;87:176-80.

Humphrey TJ, Greenwood M, Gilbert R.I. Rowe B.

Chapman PA. flic survival of salmonellas in shell eggs

cooked under simulated domestic conditions.

Epidemiol Infect 1989; 103:35-45.

Kirkland KB. Meriwether RA. Leiss JK. MacKenzie

WR. Steaming oysters does not prevent Norwalk-like

gastroenteritis. Public Health Rep l996; l 1 1:527-30

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>