Mycotoxins in Food and Why Good Food Hygiene Should Never Be Overlooked

Food hygiene is something that is an extremely important thing to be aware of – many of the illnesses that are brought on by poor food hygiene can be avoided and there are a lot of different types of bacteria and moulds that can cause illnesses to those who have eaten food that they are in – from severe allergic reactions to a very upset stomach.

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There are lots of people that work to maintain food hygiene standards and inform people of the right way to prepare and store food, such as this BRC audit company – this also means that the public eating out at a place that has gained thorough knowledge of food hygiene will feel a lot more comfortable and safe!

There are lots of things that go into good food hygiene, and a lot of illnesses and diseases of the past are a lot less common now due to our better understanding of good food hygiene practices. As well as this nowadays most people have access to better storage facilities for foods such as refrigerators and freezers so more food can be stored, and it is safer.

Something that commonly causes problems and illness is mould – there are many types of mould in food, but one of the most dangerous is those that fall into a group known as mycotoxins. They have been around for as long as humans have been growing crops to eat, and they commonly still can be found in grains and on cereals such as wheat and rice.

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However, this is not the only places where mycotoxins can be found – they have also been found living in many other foods and drinks, from nuts, fruits, milk and fruit juices.

The reason that mycotoxins are particularly dangerous is that they have potential to cause a lot of serious illnesses. Different species of mycotoxins can have different effects, so they can cause things such as liver and kidney damage, and some studies have also reported the long-term effects can lead to cancers. They are also dangerous to pregnant women as they can have a negative impact on foetal development and also the immune system. As well as this of course, food poisoning often causes a very upset stomach which can leave you very run down and dehydrated.

There are lots of ways that food producers work to mitigate the risk of the foods being contaminated with mycotoxins – from when the crops are harvested and stored, there are procedures in place to reduce the moisture that they are exposed to which makes them a less appealing habitat for moulds and fungi to live in and scientists are working all the time to come up with better and more advanced ways to reduce the mycotoxins getting into the food that we eat.

With this in mind, it shows why food hygiene – from storage to heating to cleaning – is always something that we should be well informed of and practice every time we prepare food.

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