Emerging Waterborne Pathogens In todays food preparation world waterborne pathogens are becoming a real threat. Why? Simply because in todays culture people are quick to blame the food industry for most cases of disintary or other ill effects caused by bacteria. In this paper several things will be discussed. To understand what Im trying to say, you must understand a few key terms. First lets define waterborne pathogen.
A waterborne pathogen is a micro-organism whose ability to cause disease has recently been identified. Now that you know what a waterborne pathogen is lets name a few. 1. Bacteria in the form of, Arcobacter Butzleri Helicobacter Pylori And E. Coli 2.
Viruses Rotaviruses and Adenoviruses Type 40 and 41 3. Protozoa Acanthamoeba. Each of these possible pathogens has been identified but according to the WRcs “Final Report to the Department of the Environment on Waterborne Pathogens,” it is still possible that several unidentified pathogens may be at large and dangerous. In order to understand how these pathogens work, and how to destroy them we must understand several of the parts that make them up. Some of these parts are: Morphology Biochemical Characteristics Detection Methods Cultural characteristics Health Effects Routes of Transmission Occurrence in Water Sources Sources of Exposure and Susceptibility to removal or inactivation by conventional water treatment processes. Each of these parts is used in todays world to identify and destroy existing, and new pathogens.
What happens if someone ingests a pathogen before it is identified? Well that is one reason that the Department of the Environment is so concerned. Due to current environmental status new pathogens are appearing semi-daily, and consequently overwhelming those who are working to stop them. One major example of this is Legionella. Legionella is unique in the fact that 42 strains have been identified, and yet only one is within our ability to control. So obviously there is a major shortage of knowledge on pathogens, and how to control them.
According to the WRCs report to the Department of the Enviroment “The threat which is posed by an organism to contaminate water supplies and cause outbreaks always exists,” and furthermore they state that “The threat which is posed by an organism, in terms of its occurrence and distribution in water sources and the ability to remove it is often poorly understood and or completely unknown.” Does this alarm anyone else? Just the thought that our government admits that there are diseases out there that we have no ability to control is alarming. Let alone the fact that the food industry is blamed for most of the problems that occur due to waterborne pathogens. Lets examine the logic the government uses to explain this phenomenon, “According to data provided by the Environmental Control Agency, 65% of waterborne pathogens appear in highly populated areas,” so according to this data most of these pathogens arrive via the water supply to city areas. This might explain why most “new” diseases surface in the food service industry, due to the fact that most restaurants and other food production facilities are centered in cities. Now that we know there is a problem what can the food industry do to keep from spreading the ill feelings, and actual medical problems surrounding waterborne pathogens? Well first of all we all need to recognize the source of the problem, and take the appropriate steps to stop it. Supplies of “cleansed” water should be on hand.
Also if a pathogen has been linked to your place of business take the recommended steps to identify where the problem is coming from and stop it. Furthermore educate your workers about the problem. Education never hurt anyone. In conclusion the food industry is greatly wronged by the general public when it comes to identifying the causes of certain diseases. The only way that this problem will ever be resolved is by grater education of the problem. Works Cited The main source for this paper was Http://www.awwarf.com and the Department of Environmental Conservation final report to the Department of the Environment.