Contamination Sources

Animal production and product processing and handling practices result in contamination with Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, yeasts, molds, parasites, and viruses, but the presence of pathogens in animal products processed under sanitary and hygienic conditions should generally be infrequent and at low levels. Contamination, however, is unpredictable. Thus, any raw, unprocessed, uncooked food should be considered as potentially contaminated with pathogens. In general, before slaughter, internal muscle tissues of healthy animals and birds can be considered sterile, whereas lymph nodes and certain organs (e.g., liver) may carry low levels of microbial contamination. In contrast, animal surfaces exposed to the environment such as hides, pelts, feathers, fleece, the mouth, and the gastrointestinal tract may be heavily contaminated.[1-5]

Contamination from soil, decaying matter, and animal waste is transmitted to water, air, pastures, and animal feeds, which may carry contamination naturally or may be cross-contaminated with manure. Additional sources of biological hazards may include rodents, mice, birds, insects, and transportation vehicles or crates for animals, which may contribute to cross-contamination, although the extent of this is unknown.[1-6] Pathogen prevalence may vary with animal type and age, geographic region, and season, and is usually higher during the warmer months. Animal manure may contaminate water used for drinking or to irrigate or wash plant crops, resulting in cross-contamination of other foods.

The extent of microbial transfer from the aforementioned sources to food products of animal origin depends on sanitation and hygienic practices; product handling and processing procedures; and conditions of storage, distribution, retailing, preparation for consumption, and serving.[1-5] Animal parts and manure serve as sources of contamination of milk, shell eggs, meat and poultry carcasses and their products, and the environment, leading to cross-contamination of other foods. Meat and poultry are contaminated during slaughtering, dressing, chilling, and cutting processes, when animals' muscles are exposed to the environment. Sources of meat contamination include air, water, feces, hides, intestines, lymph nodes, processing equipment, utensils, and humans. During milking, milk is contaminated by the animal and its environment, as well as by milking equipment and utensils. Eggs may be contaminated through shell penetration or during egg-breaking, whereas internally contaminated eggs may carry Salmonella serotype Enter-itidis transmitted through transovarian infection of chickens.[1-3,6] The types and levels of microorganisms contaminating a product and subsequent product handling may have important consequences on product quality and safety.

Losing Weight Quickly With the Raw Food Diet

Losing Weight Quickly With the Raw Food Diet

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