FOOD BORNE DISEASES: A NEGLECTED PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE IN PAKISTAN

Authors

  • Syed Humayun Shah

Abstract

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

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