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Germs in food: five of the most common causes
Again and again there are diseases from contaminated food. What are the causes and how can you protect yourself?
Aflatoxine – the poison of the mushrooms
Aflatoxins are natural poisons that are formed by various types of watering can mold (Aspergillus). The molds thrive especially in the tropics and subtropics. Nuts, seeds, grains and corn are particularly often affected. According to the WHO, this leads to the destruction of 25 percent of the world’s crops and crops every year.
Small amounts of aflatoxins can lead to liver cancer and birth defects. High concentrations lead to acute liver poisoning and even death. Cooking or roasting does not necessarily destroy the toxins completely. It is therefore important to always check food for mold and to sort it out if necessary.
Salmonella doesn’t just like chicken
Salmonella are bacteria that are found in the gastrointestinal tract of many animals. The infection is often asymptomatic. The contamination of food occurs especially when hygiene standards are not met. This affects not only chicken and eggs, but also foods such as herbal tea or sesame seeds. What helps is cooking – the bacteria don’t like heat at all.
E. coli and EHEC
Escherichia coli is an intestinal bacterium that performs important functions in our body. However, E. coli can lead to various infections in people with a weak immune system. The EHEC bacteria are particularly dangerous. These are coli bacteria that produce toxins that lead to intestinal inflammation.
Now we have the trouble
Just like Salmonella, coli bacteria can be killed by thorough heating. However, heads of lettuce or cucumber can also be affected. Vegetables that are eaten raw should be bought as fresh and unprocessed as possible for the health of love.
Listeria: rare but dangerous
Listeria are extremely adaptable bacteria that can be found almost everywhere. From time to time, unfortunately, this also includes our food. In the body, they can lead to blood poisoning and meningitis. Especially in the elderly and young children. As with other bacteria, listeria are destroyed by heating. The following applies: at least ten minutes to at least 70 degrees.
Not just bacteria
Norovirus is one of the most common causes of good old vomiting diarrhea. As with bacteria, the main entry route into food processing is lack of hygiene. The viruses on vegetables or meat can survive for up to twelve days. Always washing your hands well is really worth it. Not just when it comes to the flu. And also helps against viruses: heat.
Always good to know
Food can be contaminated with germs during production. The same thing can also happen at home. But you can protect yourself well with a few simple hygiene rules. First rule: Please wash your hands before cooking.
The golden rules of kitchen hygiene
In addition, other knives and boards should be used for raw meat than for raw vegetables. Chilled food should already be packed in an insulated bag in the supermarket so that the cold chain is not interrupted. Meat and fish should be cooked through to 70 degrees for at least ten minutes and then eaten quickly.
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