When people get food poisoning, they often assume the last thing they consumed was the cause. However, serious illnesses such as Salmonella, E. Coli, and Listeria can take several hours up to several days before people start to feel ill. In many cases, it could be something a person ate a few days ago and doesn’t even remember eating. Food is at risk for contamination at many points in its journey, especially if safe food production and handling practices aren’t followed. For example, tomatoes can become contaminated with salmonella. As they grow, pathogens can enter through the plant’s roots, flowers, or cracks in its skin/stem. Tomatoes can also be cross-contaminated during harvest, washing, or transport to the store and home. Once an outbreak is reported, researchers need to discover where in the journey the tomatoes became tainted. This can be difficult to pinpoint because of the various potential opportunities for contamination.

For many, a quick glance, smell or taste test might be enough to prove a food or beverage is safe to consume. However, contaminated food can look, smell and taste perfectly fine but foodborne illness is mysterious and it can sometimes be difficult to determine what food caused the food poisoning. It is important to take extra safety measures such as checking best by dates and using a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to a safe internal temperature. There are a good amount of people who don’t seek medical attention when they experience food poisoning which is why most cases of food poisoning go unreported. Even when people do go in, there is a chance their health provider won’t test for bacteria that causes foodborne illness.

Food poisoning is commonly caused by bacteria, but it can also come from viruses, parasites, mold, toxins, contaminants, and allergens. These causes can be broken down into a number of different types. For example, common bacteria and viruses that cause foodborne illness are Salmonella, Norovirus, Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, and Clostridium Perfringens. Food poisoning can be a mystery. However, researchers are working hard every day to determine the root cause of outbreaks. Food companies can also do their part to protect the public with environmental monitoring programs. SAGE Industrial is joining the cause to prevent foodborne illness with our air purification systems. Our systems safely clean the air of harmful contaminants without the use of harsh chemicals. We work hard to keep your food safe and free from bacteria, mold, and fungi. Our revolutionary process also extends shelf life of food while preserving the taste without breaking the cold chain.