Microbiology Terms Applied to Food Safety
Living organisms are broadly classified as prokaryotes and eukaryotes. All bacteria are unicellular and are prokaryotes. They are grouped as either Gram-positives or Gram-negatives based on their cell wall’s capacity to retain crystal violet dye. Gram-positive bacteria retain the dye, whereas Gram-negatives do not. Normally in foods, there exists a mixed population of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and molds. Among the microorganisms, bacteria are the most commonly implicated in foodborne outbreaks. Foodborne diseases can be classified into infections, intoxications, and toxicoinfections. Some bacteria are often used as indicators of possible food contamination. Their presence in food or water indicates the potential presence of pathogens. Several intrinsic and extrinsic factors determine the growth of microorganisms in foods. Although a number of bacterial species encountered in foods are either spoilage or pathogenic organisms, there are several others that are beneficial to food.
KeywordsLactic Acid Bacterium Botulinum Toxin Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Foodborne Pathogen Clostridium Botulinum
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