Chapter 1: Food Spoilage and Food Poisoning

Year 12 Revision Cards

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Safe Food

Safe Food:

  • Food is safe only of there is no risk of harm to humans when they consumer it.

There are several reasons for the rise in the incidence and reporting of food borne incidence.

  • changing patterns of food consumption leading to more meals being eaten away from the home
  • greater diversity of food available
  • emergence of new foo born pathogens
  • increase in the group of the population most at risk- elderly are now a greater proportion of the total population
  • better diagnossis and food testing
  • enhanced surveillance and greater awareness of the incidence through th media.
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Food Spoilage

Food Spoilage occurs when there is a reduction in the food quality identified by deterioration in the physical, chemical and/or sensory properties.

  • phsyical, sensory or chemical properties of a food, such as its nutrient value, colour, flavour, texture or appearance begin to deteriorate or reduce in quality, the food is said to 'spoil'
  • unpleasant to eat
  • caused by :naturally occuring enzymes in the food or moulds or yeast, which can 'attack' the food.
  • food that has been spoilt will show quite clear changes in its physical appearance, texture, odour, colour or flavour

Not poisonous or cause any physical harm

  • Biscuits that have absorbed moisture
  • bread and cake that have staled because they have lost moisture
  • mould on jam
  • fruit that has become bruised and overripe.
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Food Spoilage Causes


  • Single cell microscope fungi that reproduce by a process called budding.
  • wild yeast spores ar those that float around naturally in the air and can cause food spoilage in foods such as fruit juices and vinegar products.
  • the yeasts produce bubbles on the surfaces of the liquid and also give off a strong 'yeasty' odour, and have an unpleasant toaste.
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  • Form of funghi
  • reproduce by forming spores, particularly on foods such as breads, cheese and citrus fruits
  • appear as dark coloured fuzzy mass
  • carried in the air and form like seeds on a flower head
  • some moulds play an important role in cheese making (blue cheese)
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  • chemical substances that act as biological catalysts in plants, animals and micro-organisms. they bring about and speed up chemical reactions in foods without becoming involved in the reaction
  • protein substances that are naturally present in food
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