Food Hygiene

Focus on Home Hygiene in Developing Countries

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Focus on Home Hygiene in Developing Countries

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Sally F. Bloomfield. International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Although, there is good evidence that handling of food, either during preparation in the kitchen, or at mealtimes, with hands contaminated by faecal pathogens, is a significant cause of gastrointestinal infection, infection can also arise from pathogens which enter the food chain during preparation for retail sale. A study in South Africa, for example, showed that 19.2 and 32.3% respectively of poultry products purchased from retail outlets were contaminated with Salmonella and Campylobacter. This means that adequate storage and handling of foods in the home to prevent cross contamination to ready to eat foods, together with thorough cooking, are important to reduce risks of food poisoning.

Unlike developed countries where surveillance data focuses on foodborne infection, there is little data for developing countries to indicate the extent to which food poisoning arising in the home results from foods which are contaminated before they reach the home. In low income communities, however, it is likely that although gastrointestinal infections arise in this way, this mode of infection is “overshadowed” by infections arising from “faecal:food” transmission which occurs after food has entered the home. On the other hand, in homes where there is adequate water and sanitation, it is likely that this is an important route of transmission relative to other modes of spread.

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Written by WASHplus

July 21, 2010 at 4:16 pm

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