Over the past few years, our blogs, online food safety certification classes and food manager training sessions have covered many of the different causes and effects of food poisoning. Recently, researchers at Cornell University discovered a previously unknown effect of certain strains of Salmonella, namely its adverse effect on the body’s DNA.
Salmonella and DNA
Over 2,500 serotypes of Salmonella exist, with just over 100 of these strains responsible for the majority of outbreaks. Of these strains, four of the most common culprits of food-borne illness have tested positive for a toxin closely related to the toxin that is linked to Typhoid fever. Due to this discovery, these bacterium experts decided to delve deeper into the long-term effects of being sickened by Salmonella.
The notes on this study contain many large scientific words, but to break it down into simpler terms, researchers discovered that certain strains of Salmonella, or serotypes, have the potential to damage the DNA and cause the infected individual to take longer to recover from future instances of food poisoning. Researchers also noted that each time a body’s DNA is damaged in this way the chances of it healing itself become greatly diminished.
We find it incredible that modern scientists are pushing the boundaries of what we know about the harmful effects of food-borne illness. It reminds us to remember to remain diligent, expand online food safety certification resources and do whatever we can to keep our food our safe.