night before the test

Well, the title says it all. I’m studied-or more accurately-hulu’d out. Here’s a bit of today’s material for your enjoyment:

Foodborne illness is a broad term that applies to any illness transmitted to humans by food. Food infection is more specific to illnesses brought on in humans by eating food full of bacteria or other living microorganisms, while food intoxication is specific to ingesting food full of toxins. A foodborne outbreak is defined as two people getting the same disease from the same contaminated and ingested source. Cheery work, ain’t it?

The most recent high profile foodborne outbreak covers nearly half the states and involves contaminated Colorado cantaloupes. Why would the contaminated cantaloupes be in so many different places? Maybe the farm is just huge, or maybe the pathogen affected crops that were harvested at different times. There are currently 100 reported cases but could be many more, because foodborne illness is often underreported due to embarrassment or belief that it’s not really a big deal. Listeria (the cantaloupe contaminant) isn’t even usually found in produce-just in meat and soft, unpasteurized cheese. It’s a coward that only affects the weak (pregnant women, young children, compromised immune system patients, or the elderly). The reason it’s so scary is that it can grow quite well at refrigerator temperatures, something normal bacteria can’t do. All affected cantaloupe should be off store shelves as of now, but it can take quite a while to show symptoms of listeriosis so cases are still being reported.

Well, hope you enjoyed that. I’m off to study yet more, and hulu yet less.

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