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General – Food Contamination

Reasons why food gets contaminated

Food Contamination

Food contamination occurs when harmful substances or pathogens contaminate food, making it unsafe to eat. Contaminated food can lead to foodborne illnesses, ranging from mild discomfort to severe and even life-threatening conditions. Food contamination can happen at various – food production, processing, and distribution chains.

Preventing food contamination requires strict adherence to food safety practices, including proper cooking, cleaning, and storage. Food producers, processors, and distributors also play a crucial role in maintaining food safety standards to ensure the safety of food products. Regulatory agencies and public health organizations provide guidelines and regulations to help prevent food contamination and protect public health.
Food Contamination
Chemical contamination

  •  Industrial chemicals
  •  Food additives/ food toxin
  •  Chemical cleaning agents
  •  Unwashed fruits/ vegetables
  •  Pest control products

  Allergenic contamination

  •   Sulphur dioxide and sulphites
  •   Molluscs
    • Mussels and oysters
  •   Cereals containing glutens
  •    Wheat/ rice /barley/ rye/ oats

Vegetables/ grains

  •    Lupin beans
  •    Sesame seeds
  •    Soybeans
  •    Mustard
  •    Nuts
    •   Tree nuts
      • Macadamia nuts
      • Pistachios
      • Pecans
      • Cashews
      • Brazil nuts
      • Walnuts
      • Hazel nuts
  •   Peanuts
  •   Eggs
  •   Crustaceans
  •   Prawns, crabs and lobsters

Biological contamination

  •   Salmonella
  •   E-coli
  •   Clostridium botulinum / Clostridium perfringrens
  •   Campylobacter
  •   Norovirus

Improper handling/ hygiene practices

  •   Improper storage
  •   Using uncleaned utensils
  •   Inadequate handwashing

Physical contamination

  •   Hair
  •   Pest
  •  Jewelry
  •   Dirt
  •   Fingernails


  •   Water and environmental contamination
  •   Cross-contamination
  •   Temperature abuse

This template gives a visual impression of the root cause analysis of the contaminated food.

Who should use the Food Contamination template?

  • If you want to understand how food contamination occurs, this fishbone diagram will give you a clear idea.

Why use this template?

  • To understand the factors that initiate food adulteration.
  • Extend this template using Prosolvr for your problem-solving.
  • Design your templates for various problems and root cause analysis in Prosolvr.

Curated from community experience and public source:

smartQED Admin
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