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OTHER SUBSTANCES THAT CAUSE FOOD POISONING
Mold is a type of fungus. Its roots go down, into the food, and it grows a stalkupward on which spores form. The green “fuzzy” part that can be seen by the naked eye is where the spores are found. Some spores cause respiratory prob-lems and allergic reactions for some people. For this reason, moldy food should never be smelled.
Some molds produce a dangerous mycotoxin called aflatoxin that can cause cancer. It can develop in spoiled peanuts and peanut butter, soybeans, grains, nuts, and spices. Symptoms of such an infection include abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea, and may occur from 1 day to several months after ingestion. It can cause liver and skin damage and, ultimately, cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration observes the aflatoxin content of foods closely, and although this toxin cannot as yet be totally eradicated, foods contain-ing more than a very minute amount of it cannot be sold by one state to another.
Neither cooking nor refrigeration destroys this toxin. Cheese may develop mold, and that part should be cut away to a depth of at least an inch. (Cheeses such as bleu or Roquefort that were intentionally ripened by harmless molds are safe to eat.) Fruits and vegetables showing signs of mold should not be purchased.
Trichinella spiralis is a parasitic worm that causestrichinosis.This diseaseis transmitted by eating inadequately cooked pork from pigs that are infected with the Trichinella spiralis parasite. Symptoms include abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, chills, and muscle pain. Symptoms occur about 24 hours after ingesting infected pork. Cooking all pork to an internal temperature of at least 170°F kills the organism and prevents this disease. It can also be destroyed by freezing.
Dysentery is a disease caused by protozoa (tiny, one-celled animal).The protozoa are introduced to food by carriers or contaminated water. They cause severe diarrhea that can occur intermittently until the patient is treated appropriately.
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