Different Types of Food Contamination

A Brief Guide to the Different Types of Food Contamination

Have you ever wondered about the different types of contamination in food?

Food contamination can be a severe hazard and have consequences for consumers. There are about 48 million cases related to foodborne illnesses every year in the US. It can be the cause of a small outbreak in your area if you're running a food-related business.

Types of Food Contamination Blog

This is a surefire way to get your restaurant closed down. Here are the types of food contamination you need to be careful of.

Biological Contamination

One of the most common types of food contamination is from bacteria. The biological matter can come from rodents, humans, and microorganisms. Biological contamination is a common cause of spoilage and food poisoning.

The six types of microorganisms that cause foodborne illnesses include:

  • Norovirus
  • Listeria
  • E.coli
  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter

Foods that are moist, neutral in acidity, and high in protein are common victims of this type of contamination in food. Want to know more about bacteria and contamination? You can find more info here.

Chemical Contamination

Chemical contamination arises when food comes in contact with something that has toxic chemicals. This includes pesticides, cleaning products, preservatives, and the like. Chemicals can reach your food even before it makes it to the kitchen.

Greenish skin is usually a sign that your food has toxins present. To avoid chemical contamination, store your chemicals far from the kitchen. Make a habit of storing your food in safe containers to ensure that no chemicals get on your food.

Physical Contamination

Sometimes, a physical object finds its way into your food during preparation. Physical contamination can harm the consumer, such as choking or broken teeth. Some of the most common physical contaminants include hair, jewelry, plastic wrap, etc.

Some physical contaminants may also carry harmful bacteria, which poses a greater health risk. A good way to minimize this type of contamination is to tie your hair back and not use jewelry when cooking. Throw away old or cracked cooking equipment to avoid pieces getting in your food.


Cross-contamination is the transfer of contaminants from one substance to another. This type of contamination happens due to the improper handling of food and utensils. One of the most common cross-contamination involves food handlers who sneeze or cough on the food.

Other causes involve raw food storage, pests, dirty kitchen clothes, and the like. To avoid cross-contamination, use separate utensils to cook and serve different types of foods. Be sure to handle and dispose of any food waste and scraps properly.

Allergenic Contamination

Do you use the same utensils and tools to cut or store foods? Doing so will cause allergenic contamination. Mixing even a tiny bit of allergen in food can cause a fatal reaction.

There are 14 named allergens that a majority of people are allergic to. This includes peanuts, mustard, egg, soy, gluten, and fish. Make a habit of separating every tool you use to avoid mixing food with allergens.

A Brief Guide to the Different Types of Food Contamination

All foods are at risk of getting these types of food contamination. You may end up getting food poisoning, allergic reactions, and injuries. The best way to avoid food contamination is by practicing food safety.

Get to know more about food contamination back at our blogs page. Learn more by reading our other guides with tips and helpful info.

Funny Food Contamination Cartoon

• Meet the Author • Dr. Lawrence Kindo

I am a Medical Professional with a passion for writing, blogging, playing, computers, and of course patient care. My writing in this medical blog will reflect my passion, and you are welcome to be a part of this venture. This medical blog is a tribute to all the great medical pioneers, and to the ultimate source of wisdom, God.

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