In This Chapter
Defining food adulteration
Discussing microbial contamination
Keeping food sources safe
Controlling foodborne disease
At any given time, billions of bacteria and other microbes hang out all over you, your belongings, and your food. Even as you read these words, your mouth, fingertips, pencils, and everything else in front of you are riddled with these creepy-crawly things. So should you panic and run for the nearest hazmat suit? No, because, for the most part, these invisible denizens of your world are okay. Most of them don't impact you at all; some are even good for you, performing needed functions like helping with digestion and inhibiting the growth of the bad bacteria.
Still, many microbes and contaminants can pose a threat to your health. Fortunately, your body has protective layers (your skin, the little hairs in your ears and nose, and so on) that create barriers between you and them. But when you eat, these nasty microbes can get into your system by hitching a ride on your food or on your fingers. That's why you need to know ...