Foodborne infections remain a major public health problem. The Council for
Agricultural Science and Technology estimated in its 1994 report, Foodborne
Pathogens: Risks and Consequences, that as many as 9,000 deaths and 6.5 to 33
million illnesses in the United States each year were food-related.
Hospitalization costs alone for these illnesses were estimated at over $3
billion a year. Costs for lost productivity for 7 specific pathogens estimated
at $9 billion. In this chapter I briefly review the important food and water
borne infections that cause gastrointestinal disease.
Doering reported in 2009: "The head of Kellogg Co, whose company lost nearly
$70 million in products from a recent peanut recall, will tell lawmakers on
Thursday the US food safety system must be overhauled with a focus on
prevention… the country needs an authority within the Department of Health and
Human Services devoted solely to food safety. Kellogg and hundreds of other
companies have recalled 3,491 products from crackers to ice cream that contain
peanuts after ingredients supplied by Peanut Corp of America were linked to a
salmonella outbreak that began in September. Peanut Corp has since declared
bankruptcy. The government says nearly 700 people have become ill after eating
contaminated peanut products. President Obama has organized a panel to improve
food safety laws. He blamed the recent outbreak partly on outdated food safety
laws and underfunding and understaffing at FDA. In a 2009
review of the US experience, Maki asked: “Once again, we must ask
ourselves how foodborne disease can develop in 76 million residents of one of
the world's most technically advanced countries each year, causing 350,000
hospitalizations and 5000 deaths and adding $7 billion to our health care costs,
despite intensive regulation of food production and distribution?”
The transportation of food in a global economy increased the spread of
foodborne infections. The spread of avian flu viruses, for example was first
blamed on wild birds, but tracking the spread with Google world mapping showed
that the virus spread along transport routes, moving domestic foul for sale
among countries. The idea of localized “endemic infections” is obsolete.
Bacteria and other infectious organisms are pervasive in the environment.
Salmonella enteritidis, for example, enters eggs directly from the hen. Bacteria
inhabit the surfaces of fruits and vegetables in the field. Molds and their
toxic byproducts can develop in grains during wet growing seasons and when damp
conditions prevail during harvesting or storage. Seafood may become
contaminated from agricultural runoff, by sewage, microorganisms and toxins
present in marine environments. Many organisms are part of the normal flora of
the gastrointestinal tract of food-producing animals. Milk, eggs, seafood,
poultry, and meat from food-producing animals may become contaminated due to
contaminated feed, misuse of veterinary drugs, or poor farming practices.
Common infectious pathogens
•Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other related strains
•Parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum;
The immediate consequences of these infections include acute illness with
abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Salmonella, E. Coli and campylobacter
actively infect after an incubation period of 1-3 days with acute diarrhea,
abdominal pain, and fever as the chief symptoms. An infection may alter the
immune reactivity of the GIT surface, leaving new food allergy in its wake. Many
patients report an acute "food poisoning" episode at the onset of a long bout of
digestive symptoms, often with delayed pattern food allergy downstream months
later (fatigue, aching, headache, difficulty concentrating, memory loss.)
Long-lasting conditions may follow foodborne infection - examples are reactive
arthritis, sacroileitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome and hemolytic uremic syndrome
(HUS or "Hamburger Disease") which can lead to kidney failure and death,
particularly in young children.
Listen to Solving Digestive Disorders
This website features topics from the book, Digestive Disorders by Stephen Gislason MD
Print and eBook versions are available. 178 Pages.
The book discusses food-related digestive tracts diseases and common disorders
such as food allergy, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome,
chronic diarrhea, liver diseases, foodborne infection and motility disorders.
Nutritional concerns with digestive disease are discussed and case histories
illustrate problems and their solution. The solution is found in the Alpha
Nutrition Program, a standard method of diet revision. There are many conditions
that improve with diet revision. Elemental nutrient formulas are recommended for
serious digestive disease.
The latest edition is available as an eBook for download.
Nutrient Formulas and Printed books are shipped from Alpha Online to all destinations in Canada and USA. Prices are listed in Canadian dollars.
Disorders Rescue Help in understanding and managing the most common digestive tract
disorders: Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome,
Functional Dyspepsia, GERD, constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The
starter pack includes one 500 gram jar of
Alpha ENF, the Alpha Nutrition Program, and the book Food & Digestive Disorders.
Three steps to solving a digestive problem
1 You stop ingesting the problem foods and beverages.
2 You eat safe foods and pure nutrients until you clear symptoms.
3 Reintroduce more of the best, nourishing, low-risk foods
If you are not ready for the starter pack, Order Books Separately.
Click the book title in the center column of the
table to read topics from the books. Click the Add to Cart button on the
left to begin your order for printed books for mail delivery to Canada and the USA from Alpha Online. Click the
Download button to order and download PDF files.
All Alpha Nutrition formulas, books, eBooks and Starter packs are ordered
online. We ship through the Post Office to all destinations in Canada and the
USA. Prices are listed in Canadian Dollars.
US $ prices are lower depending on the dollar exchange rate.
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