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Foodborne bacteria

Foodborne bacteria live in the gut of many farm animals. During rearing, slaughter and processing it can be transferred into:

  • meat
  • eggs
  • poultry
  • milk

Other foods like green vegetables, fruit and shellfish can become contaminated through contact with animal and human faeces. For example, from manure used to improve soil fertility or sewage in water.

Foodborne bacteria can be spread by cross-contamination. For example, if raw and cooked foods are stored together, bacteria will spread from the raw food to the cooked food.

This is why it is important to follow the ‘4C’ which are:

  • cleaning
  • chilling
  • cooking
  • avoiding cross-contamination

Some foodborne bacteria can also be spread from pets to people and from person to person through poor hygiene. This includes things like failing to wash your hands properly after going to the toilet or after handling pets.