Food safety

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Food safety
Food Safety 1.svg
Critical factors
Bacterial pathogens
Viral pathogens
Parasitic pathogens

Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent food-borne illness. The occurrence of two or more cases of a similar illnesses resulting from the ingestion of a common food is known as a food-borne disease outbreak.[1] This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potential health hazards. In this way food safety often overlaps with food defense to prevent harm to consumers. The tracks within this line of thought are safety between industry and the market and then between the market and the consumer. In considering industry to market practices, food safety considerations include the origins of food including the practices relating to food labeling, food hygiene, food additives and pesticide residues, as well as policies on biotechnology and food and guidelines for the management of governmental import and export inspection and certification systems for foods. In considering market to consumer practices, the usual thought is that food ought to be safe in the market and the concern is safe delivery and preparation of the food for the consumer.

Food can transmit pathogens which can result in the illness or death of the person or other animals. The main mediums are bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungus (which is Latin for mushroom). It can also serve as a growth and reproductive medium for pathogens. In developed countries there are intricate standards for food preparation, whereas in lesser developed countries there are fewer standards and less enforcement of those standards. Another main issue is simply the availability of adequate safe water, which is usually a critical item in the spreading of diseases.[2] In theory, food poisoning is 100% preventable. However this cannot be achieved due to the number of persons involved in the supply chain, as well as the fact that pathogens can be introduced into foods no matter how many precautions are taken. The five key principles of food hygiene, according to WHO, are:[3]

  1. Prevent contaminating food with pathogens spreading from people, pets, and pests.
  2. Separate raw and cooked foods to prevent contaminating the cooked foods.
  3. Cook foods for the appropriate length of time and at the appropriate temperature to kill pathogens.
  4. Store food at the proper temperature.
  5. Use safe water and safe raw materials.

Economic importance of fungi in commercial agriculture.

Economic importance of fungi in commercial agriculture.Fungi are one of the most significant organisms in the environment. They are hidden from the naked eyes but their effects and impact are very evident and plenty. Learn more about fungi and the economic importance of fungi in commercial agriculture. The economic importance of fungi refers to both the advantages and disadvantages of fungi. Fungi are one of the most important microorganisms in our environment. The play a number of important roles in medicine and in commercial agriculture. The uses of fungi are numerous. They are used in production industries like bakeries and breweries, in food processing, in medicines, etc. . Some fungi found in the soil are beneficial in commercial agriculture because their activities help to maintain soil fertility. Saprophytic fungi in acidic soils with low bacterial activities cause decay and help decompose dead plants and their waste. They take up the complex organic compounds by secreting enzymes. These enzymes convert the complex organic compounds into simpler ones like ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide, water, etc. Some of these simpler compounds are absorbed back into the soil to form humus. The rest into the air where they are used again by plants for synthesis. Most saprophytic fungi involved in decay maintain a constant cycle of carbon dioxide which is the very important for plant photosynthesis. Some fungi attach to the roots of some plants and help them in taking up nutrients from the soil. This is known as mycorrhizal association. These plants can only grow to satisfaction when mycelium of the fungal partner is present in the soil. Mycorrhiza present in the soil helps in the development of good soil structure. They join small soil particles together to form bigger ones. more

Cows offers clue that leads to an HIV vaccine.

Cows offers clue that leads to an HIV vaccine. "Cows have shown an 'insane' and 'mind-blowing' ability to tackle HIV which will help develop a vaccine, say US researchers," BBC News reports. The report is based on new research in cows that were immunized against HIV before having their immune response to HIV assessed. There's currently no vaccine for HIV because the virus mutates so easily. Scientists aim to develop a vaccine that is not only potent (produces a strong immune system response), but also causes the immune system to make "broadly neutralizing antibodies" (able to protect against many different strains of virus). The four cows in this study were immunized against HIV with a specially developed vaccine to test both strength and "breadth". Some cows developed a weak response with reasonable breadth (20% – or it helped protect against 1 in 5 strains tested in the lab) at 42 days. One cow in particular showed an impressive immune response to most of the lab strains of HIV ("96% breadth") 381 days after being vaccinated. This research, done in a small number of cows, may help scientists work out if immune proteins made in cows could potentially be used to protect humans against a range of HIV strains. more

Transforming Nigeria's Agricultural Value Chain.

Transforming Nigeria's Agricultural Value Chain. Agriculture was the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy before the discovery of crude oil. From 1960 to 1969, the sector accounted for an average of 57.0% of GDP and generated 64.5% of export earnings. From 1970 to late 2000s, the sector’s contribution to GDP and export earnings steadily declined, because Nigeria focus shifted to petroleum exploration. Over the past five years, the sector has contributed an average of 23.5% to GDP and generated 5.1% of export earnings. The recent fall in crude oil prices has triggered conversations around the role of Agriculture in economic diversification.Our new report, Transforming Nigeria’s Agricultural Value Chain, argues that Nigeria’s agriculture sector requires massive investments to increase production and to create value addition across the most profitable segments of the value chain. In order to examine Nigeria’s agricultural value chain, the report focuses on Cocoa and Dairy as case studies. It also suggests strategies for upgrading the production, processing, trade and marketing segments of the agricultural value chain. Download

Risk and spread of plant viruses.

Risk and spread of plant viruses. Plant viruses can cause many diseases in our crops. The effects of viruses can range from discolorations and deformities – which make products less valuable or worthless – to loss of the plant. But virus infection can also be symptom-free; in that case the host plant appears to be healthy. However, undetected infections can have serious consequences for the export of agricultural products, especially if the virus concerned has a quarantine status in other countries. Standard plant protection agents do not work against plant viruses; once plants are infected by a virus they can no longer be cured. Farmers and growers therefore do everything they can to keep their crops virus-free. They begin the crop with certified virus-free material (seeds, cuttings or other planting material). In addition, they take measures to minimise virus transmission to their crop and within their crop. To do this effectively, it is important to understand how viruses spread and move from one plant to another.see

30,000 farmers to be trained on agriculture technology.

30,000 farmers to be trained on agriculture technology.More than 30,000 farmers, including some from Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda, are expected to attend the 17th annual farmers' field day in Nyeri from next week. The two-day event will kick off on Friday and Saturday next week at Wambugu Farm Agricultural Training Centre. Nyeri Agriculture executive Robert Thuo said more than 130 exhibitors, mostly selling farm inputs, will showcase their work.more

How to keep your newly hatched chicks healthy.

How to keep your newly hatched chicks healthy. This one factor has a huge impact on health of chicks,temperature affects growth of birds in so many ways. The newly hatched chick cannot control its body temperature very well. Air temperature, humidity, and airspeed interact and will all have an effect on the body temperature and the comfort of the young chick. It is easy to see if chicks are uncomfortable from their behavior – chicks that are too hot are noisy and pant in order to lose heat. Chicks that are cold will huddle together to keep warm and their legs will feel cold. In a recent trial, the Aviagen Hatchery Specialist team showed that chicks that were panting had a high vent temperature averaging 106°F, while comfortable chicks had a vent temperature that averaged 104°F. When the two groups were held in the hatchery for12 hours, the over-heated chicks lost nearly twice as much weight. Samples taken at the hatchery showed that chicks that had been overheated had slight gut damage, so they could not absorb nutrients as well. Grown in a broiler trial, these chicks were 60g lighter at 35 days than chicks that had been held in comfortable conditions. more

How To Stop The Red Poultry Mite Infestation.

How To Stop The Red Poultry Mite Infestation. The red poultry mite,though tiny causes huge losses on the farm . The conditions in poultry houses are ideal for mites and they rapidly multiply thus increasing in population. The bites are painful, irritating and can cause lethargy. There is decreased egg production and in extreme cases, death, as a result of anaemia. The red poultry mite transmits a number of poultry diseases such as Salmonella and Newcastle virus. The adult mites are very resistant to desiccation and starvation,thus can survive without food for several months. The red poultry mites are a nocturnal species, spending the day resting in cracks and crevices where they are safe from the birds. and at night, they attack the birds and feed for up to 2 hours. Slacked lime applied to thee poultry house kills the mites. The particle size of the lime dust is small such that it gets under the exoskeleton plates of the mites, they lose moisture and die. The slacked lime does not affect the birds,and the slaked lime can also be used to get rid of leg mite. Another approach is the use of Q-Perch; The Q-Perch is a mechanic solution that controls Poultry Red Mite* (PRM) based on their natural lifecycle. It withholds PRM from eating and thereby prevents them from reproducing. The revolutionary Q-Perch© is a perch containing two isolators, that kill PRM on their journey towards the chicken. There is a small electrical current running through the isolators with which the chickens cannot come into contact, but is lethal for PRM. The Q-Perch offers a continuous line of defence preventing the negative effects of PRM to occur. more

Ghana poultry farm’s integration model trains community.

Ghana poultry farm’s integration model trains community.Working with indigenous guinea fowl and layers, model farm in Ghana hopes to establish integrated model with local producers. A model poultry farm in the north of Ghana is hoping to meet local demand for poultry meat and eggs, and to share rearing knowledge with local farmers. What little commercial broiler production exists in the country tends to be concentrated in the south. Northern Ghana has never been a poultry-producing region, despite strong demand for meat and eggs. Access is further hampered by the country relying on imports for much of its broiler meat, making it expensive. But demand for poultry meat does not have to be solely satisfied by broiler meat, and this new model farm is working with guinea fowl - rather than broilers - and layers. Tibzaa Farm, located near the regional capital of Tamale was established in 2011 by Sintaro Mahama, a former International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent logistics manager, who wants it to function has a model farm to advance agricultural progress in the region. The farm has adopted the slogan of “Endless opportunities” and, as Mahama explains: “This means that we are facilitating the local communities.” The farm has breeding flocks of about 2,000 indigenous guinea fowl and approximately 5,000 Lohman Classic Brown layers, which are already producing eggs for sale. The farm is the process of registering local farmers to work with it and rear guinea fowl or laying hens. Basic training is being carried out on-farm, but there are plans to increase the farm’s training opportunities. more