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Food Pathogens

Food pathogens are biological agents that can cause a foodborne illness event. They are able to invade your body or produce toxins to cause illness. The symptoms of food poisoning vary from nausea and vomiting (e.g. caused by Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin), through diarrhoea and dehydration (e.g. caused by Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp.) to severe conditions such as septicaemia, meningitis, paralysis and death (e.g. caused by invasive Listeria monocytogenes and in the rare cases of botulism caused by Clostridium botulinum toxin). The infective doses of different foodborne pathogens vary from less than ten to more than 100,000,000 organisms. General information on the common foodborne pathogens is provided in "Microbiological Guidelines for Food" published by the Centre of Food Safety (CFS), Hong Kong.

Source of Information: CFS, HONG KONG

Common Food Pathogens

  1. Staphylococcus aureus

  2. Salmonella spp.

  3. Listeria monocytogenes

  4. Bacillus cereus

  5. Vibrio parahaemolyticus

  6. Vibrio cholerae (O1 and O139)

  7. Clostridium perfringens

  8. Campylobacter spp.

  9. Shigella spp.

  10. E.coli O157

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