Currently, there are two hundred fifty (250) known disease-causing microorganisms or pathogens that are responsible for twenty (20) percent of the reported foodborne cases. The cause of the remaining eighty (80) percent of foodborne illness cases are unknown. This presentation will focus on foodborne illness and food contamination in the restaurant, retail, and hospitality sectors. Trained experts, such as epidemiologists and toxicologists, determine how these incidents may have occurred, including the root cause, and provide recommendations on how to eliminate or resolve the problem. As an example, an epidemiologist can create an epidemiological curve, a type of chart, to determine how long the illness occurred from ingestion of the suspect food item in multiple people. This curve can be used to rule out other illnesses such as non-foodborne viruses that could have caused similar symptoms as a foodborne illness.
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