Definitions

Food intoxication is the ingestion of toxic compounds in foods, from chemical contamination or preformed by toxigenic microorganisms, by susceptible persons who later became ill.

Food infection is the ingestion of large numbers of viable, pathogenic microorganisms in food by susceptible persons who later became ill. Usually the number is around one million live organisms per gram of food, but there are cases that at low as 100 cells can become infectious.

Food poisoning is the ingestion of contaminated food containing either chemical preformed toxins or live microbes by susceptible persons who later became ill. Foodborne outbreak is the consumption of contaminated food from one source by two or many people who later became ill. In the case of botulism one affected person will constitute one outbreak.

Foodborne disease case is the consumption of contaminated food by one susceptible person who later became ill. A foodborne outbreak can have 2 cases or 100,000 cases, with the exception of botulism, when one case is considered one outbreak.

Endemic is the usual cases of a particular illness in a community.

Epidemic is an unusual, large number of cases of a particular illness from a single source in a community. Pandemic is a disease affecting the entire world. Epidemiology is the study of diseases in a population using statistical methods. An epidemiologist studies patterns of diseases and their causative agents in terms of a population, whereas a physician treats individual patients.

Etiologic agent is the agent that caused a specific disease.

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