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Foods and their safety
food born bacteria
Nowadays we have been feeling much more fear for food safety than ever. This is mainly due to the fact that these days we can not see any stage of food processes from their growth till they are consumed. Food safety seems to bear two aspects, one is a scientific implication and the other mental implication. People have understood altogether mixing up these two different aspects.
Scientifically food safety must be understood and represented as “probability”（risk）and accordingly foods shall never be 100% safe. Nevertheless under this condition to get the probability（risk）to nearly 0 one must minimize hazard factors arising from their environments. Among the factors paramount important is the bacterial one coming from sea water. Between 2003 to 2004 the author and his colleges have collected samples of sea water and sea sediment from different seashores along the Kii Channel in Tokushima Prefecture and conducted an epidemiological study on Vibrio paraheamolyticus for their seasonal variation, serological types and pathogenic genes responsible for food poisoning. They have detected strains of V. parahaemolyticus carrying the pathogenic genes and the same serotype O3 : K6 of a pandemic strain VP 47 known worldwide, suggesting that sea foods to be collected from the Channel bear a risk to cause food poisoning by V. parahaemolyticus.
In order to secure food safety, basic and general measures such as hand washing, heating and/or disinfection are most important before specific measures to be taken. The most effective way is to combine any of these measures. This was demonstrated in a simple and primitive experiment with blood agar plates imprinted with fingers before and after washing the hands under tap water and/ or disinfection with an iodine solution. Risk communication is also discussed in association with food safety measures.
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