Food contamination, Part 1: General and types

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The contamination of food is the alteration or damage, that any substance or effects produces on the purity or the condition of the food without being typical of them and that compromises the quality as the safety food and assumed insecurity for people that consume. In this first installment we will focus on knowing the overview of each of the possible types of contamination.

Basically the food contamination can be biological, physical and chemical type:

• Biological contamination
Including bacteria, parasites and viruses, ie living microorganisms, like microscopic. The main problem is the pathogenic for their ability to reproduce on food until they can pass on to sicken people who eat the bacteria, can produce toxins that even sick. Their ability to reproduce make that in a few hours form groups or colonies of millions of bacteria that even in that amount are impossible to see with the naked eye in food. This type of contamination can reach the food by human hands, by contact with contaminated food or surfaces such as tables, containers, utensils or contaminated equipment. You can also get through their paws pest pose on the food or come in contact with him such as flies, ants, cockroaches, rats, or even pets.

• Physical contamination
Various types of foreign matter can contaminate food such as metal particles detached by tools or equipment, pieces of glass from broken lamps, pieces of wood from packaging or pallets (pallets), watches, rings, pens or pencils, bracelets or other, all of which can fall into and contaminate food. These physical contaminants, especially metal or glass type, are potentially capable of producing wounds in those who consume contaminated food with such objects.

• Chemical contamination
It usually occurs in the same place of primary production of food, for residues of substances that are used to control pests on crops, or substances such as veterinary drugs in sick animals that are later slaughtered. Also this type of contamination can occur accidentally during stages such as transport, storage or actual development, by allowing food contact with toxic substances such as pesticides, fuels, lubricants, paints, detergents, disinfectants or other.

Contribuidor: Ing. Samuel Sánchez Ávila para FullKnowledge y AgroFoodSafety.Com

Samuel Sánchez Ávila, Ingeniero de Alimentos, ecuatoriano, nacido en la ciudad de Guayaquil, actualmente se desempeña como Jefe Técnico Comercial de la empresa Quicornac S.A. (Ecuador) y Quicornac S.A.C. (Perú). Es también auditor y consultor de sistemas de inocuidad alimentaria, profesor y asesor de la industria de alimentos.

By: Enero 19, 2016