Case Study: Microbiology

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Microbiology Case Study:

According to food experts, sprouts and foodborne illness have had a long history to an extent that the association between illness and sprouts has not gone unnoticed by public health agencies and organizations that work towards enhancing the safety of food supply. Actually, these stakeholders usually identify raw sprouts as risky foods to be avoided by individuals with compromised immune systems and pregnant women (Clark par, 3). Some possible explanations for the link between sprouts and illness include selection bias i.e. people with exposure are more likely to be cultured and information bias i.e. cases are more likely to precisely remember diet than controls. Moreover, the association can be attributed to the fact that sprouts may have been linked with certain foods, which are the true cause.

Question 12:

Generally, most sprouts such as alfalfa sprouts can only be eaten raw since they are not exposed to high temperatures that are adequate to kill any existing bacteria. However, the most likely source of contamination of sprouts is the seeds that are used to grow the sprouts. For the 12 people in the study who did not report eating alfalfa sprouts in the 7 days before their illness, there are several possible factors that contributed to their illness. These factors include the likelihood that they forgot, probability that their contaminated sprouts took longer incubation periods, cross-contamination, and controls infected by cases. Furthermore, the symptoms of contaminated sprouts like E. coli infection may start after 10 days of eating contaminated food ("Risk Associated with Sprouts" par, 8).

Question 13:

As previously mentioned, pregnant women and individuals with weak immune systems are at high risk for serious health effects from foodborne illness. Therefore, there is a great need to adopt some control measures that enable them to lessen the risk of these illnesses. One of the major control measures is to visit the public health department's website for information on how to lessen the risk and more understanding on the link between sprouts and illness. The website would provide more information on safety precautions that help in lessening the risks. The other control measures include carrying out research on a long chain of food production and culturing suspected source. In some cases, the control measures may also involve examining cases that are not linked to a suspected source in order to identify potential routes of infection.

Question 14:

One of the major control measures to reduce the risks of foodborne illness is to conduct a food traceback procedure in a long chain of food production. Since this procedure may require tedious work that takes a lot of time to complete, there is a criteria to be considered before deciding to carry out a traceback of food. The criteria include several factors such as environmental and/or production contamination of the food, scope of foodborne illness outbreak, overwhelming evidence of food contamination, microbiological evidence, and precedence for this kind of infection. I would consider undertaking a traceback procedure in Michigan outbreak because the situation meets the criteria for conducting a traceback and due to the scope of the outbreak i.e. The entire state.

Question 15:

Generally, a full traceback of an implicated food item begins with information available during purchase by the consumer and goes back to the commencement of the production of the food item. During this process, all the steps in the food production process are usually considered ranging from harvest to consumption. The information on the implicated item that might facilitate the traceback process include product name, packaging, code numbers, lot numbers, expiration dates, manufacturer, distributors, wholesalers, shipping procedures, and date of purchase. it's also important to obtain the addresses of manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers (Stehr-Green, p. 20).

Question 16:

It seems likely that the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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