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Running head: FOOD SANITATION 1

Food Sanitation: The Development and Change of it in the World

Maria Lira

Health Science 616: Environmental and Occupational Health

California State University, San Bernardino

May 16, 2018


Food Sanitation: The Development and Change of it in the World


We live in a fast paced world in which we it cannot stop for very many things. Not

only is it a fast paced world for us, but also for other things such as microorganisms that

affect our food and of course a lot of these times in a negative way. Food is a vital

necessity for human beings which is why ancestors and their brilliant minds came up

with what one might consider one of the best inventions of the world “food preservation”

which is a major component of food sanitation back when it was first developed as it is

in today’s world. In the earlier eras, food would become available through hunting or

gathering of local berries or nuts. They soon became aware that their food would easily

become contaminated and would expire and become rancid. The area in which some

populations lived in was also not the most helpful in helping them to keep their hard

earned food in the healthiest form of sanitation.

As previously mentioned, food preservation was a major component of how

ancestors learned to keep their food in a form in which it would not become rancid and

not readily available for intake. The populations had to not only struggle to obtain at

times minimal food but they did not have the technology that we now have such as

refrigerators that help us preserve our food for longer periods of time. For populations in

early eras, their way of preserving food came in different forms that were all naturally

done without any form of technology. Preservation of food had become one of man’s

best ability to help keep the population alive in the area they lived in. According to the

National Center for Home Food Preservation, as early in or around the 1200 B.C. eras

people would freeze the meat that they gathered through hunting by putting it out in the

ice and using it as they needed which would allow for the meat to last longer than if not

frozen. During summer time, fruits, vegetables, and some meats were dried and were

also once again able to be used for longer than their regular expiration time even

though some of the natural enzymes of the food would be lost (Nummer, 2002). The

freezing of meats and drying of fruits and vegetables helped to not allow

microorganisms to have the necessary living conditions to contaminate and spoil these

foods and allow for them to be preserved for longer periods of time in which populations

might not be able to harvest. According to William Schaefer, the freezing of foods would

prohibit new microorganism to not be able to grow once food is frozen, yet if there were

microorganism already in the food before they were frozen, those microorganism still

had the possibility to spoil and rotten the food once it was thawed out. He also mentions

that if the temperature of the frozen food is not at least at 0 degrees Fahrenheit and

fluctuates, it can change the food endurance of maintaining itself without spoiling

(Schafer, 2014). This issue of microorganisms being present even with freezing, can still

be considered an issue in today’s day. If in case frozen food is not kept at the right

temperature or a refrigerator door is left open, it gives the possibility of those

microorganisms to thrive and spoil the food which once again is part of food sanitation

which we indeed need to still take into account.

The next type of food preservation which aided in food sanitation was that of

fermentation. Fermentation is the using certain microorganism to aid them in the growth

of specific food or liquids which in turn don’t allow the growth of microorganisms that

would naturally grow in that food or liquid and causing spoilage of them. According to

the second article on “Food and Science” series, Paul J. Chambers and Isak Pretorius,

the initiation of fermentation became known to the world around the 1600s by

Leeuwenhoek. Years after the enlightening of food preservation, one of most famous

fermentations was the fermentation of cheese and wines ((Chambers & Pretorius,

2010). One might still consider this evolution in history of food preservation to be

important as cheese and wine are popular items throughout the world.

Canning also became a very popular form of food preservation around the 1800s

and to this day it is still used. Of course, as technology more readily available, more

improved, and more widely used it affected the way canning was used as means of

preserving food and increasing its sanitation. Nicholas Appert was the first to realize

that food in bottles heated and then cooled helped with the preservation and

continuation of food sanitation by not allowing them to spoil. Once again, after his

innovative finding, came the previously mentioned findings by Louis Pasteur in regards

to microorganisms and their role on food spoilage. According to Nummer, canning in tin

cans was patented by Peter Durand. Even with his patent, the importance of how

canning helped aid the sanitation of food through preservation was not clearly

understood until the year 1951 when the relation of it to the microorganism Clostridium

Botulinum which can still form and poison canned foods was discovered (Nummer,

2002). As one can clearly see and understand, sanitation of food started very early in

history and it has progressed throughout the years. Science has played a major role in

the understanding of how microorganisms affect food sanitation through preservation

and both positively and negatively. It has taken more than one era to discover and apply

the best way that food preservation can aid in the extension of food sanitation for

everyone regardless of their abilities or tools available for them to make use of it and

everyone within that population.

Pesticides and Food Sanitation Treatments:

Pesticides are widely used to for the sake and help of food sanitation. Pesticides

can be used in different forms to either help plants grow or to kill away other inhabitants

such as weeds, bugs, insects or bacteria that might affect their growth potential.

According to the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, there are

different forms of pesticides such as the following: herbicides which help in the

destruction of unwanted weeds and or vegetation, insecticides which help destroy and

or control different types of unwanted insects or bugs, fungicides which help prevent the

unwanted growth of mold or mildew on crops, antimicrobials which help to clean and

prevent the spread of bacteria and or disease, and last but not least the use of

compounds which aid in the control of mice and rats (NIEHS, 2018). As clearly

understood, the use of different pesticides help aid the growth of plants and indeed are

a necessity for food sanitation.

Pesticides may come in different forms not only for the control or destruction of

unwanted plants or weeds that surround the plants that we in fact want to continue

growing to aid them in their growth. For example, according to United States

Department of Agriculture the herbicide that is most widely used in the United States for

corn crops is Atrazine, and the second most widely used is glyphosate isopropylamine

salt. These two types of herbicides are used in about 97 percent of corn crops while

insecticides are used for about 13 percent of the corn crops, fungicides following right

after being used in about 12 percent of the crops and other pesticides are considered as

other with about 1 percent of usage. Figure 1 shows the depiction of the use of the

different forms of pesticides for the aid in corn crop growth.

Figure 1. Pesticides Applied to Corn Planted Acres, 2014 Crop Year. Reprinted from


As the National Academies states, there are many advocates in the United

States that help in the different steps taken to ensure that food goes from agricultural

farms to dinner tables in the safest way possible (National Academies, 2018). The use

pesticides had grown in popularity of the years due to agriculture having to suffer

different inhibitors which can cause crops to not grow as much as they did in previous

years. The role of pesticides in food sanitation is to control and or destroy, yet it not only

helps but it can also have negative effects for humans. As pesticides are widely used in

plants, it is extremely important for those plants to be properly cleaned before sale and

even more before they are to be consumed. The pesticides may become toxic if

ingested therefore as proper food sanitation, the plant before it is consumed must be

properly cleaned and or cooked in order for any residue of the pesticide to be cleaned

off. Populations which do not use pesticides such as third world countries might not be

affected by the food sanitation through the use of pesticides. Those third world countries

might be growing crops in smaller amounts rather than that of first world countries and

might not necessarily have the necessity to use pesticides to help them with the growth

of their crops.

Another important aspect of food sanitation is that of human hygiene. Human

hygiene can be the difference between a breakouts of Escherichia coli in a salad that is

spread in the blink of an eye or the prevention of it. Human hygiene in this case for

example, would be hand washing properly after the use of a restroom before the return

to the workplace and interaction with food. Proper washing of the lettuce can clean out

the Escherichia coli that might be present in the lettuce and prevent disease from


The understanding of cross contamination and keeping foods at the right

temperature at all times are also treatments that are necessary in within food sanitation.

Cross contamination can occur in different forms, one being as previously mention such

as the proper hand wash before returning to work with food. Proper hand wash prevents

for fecal matter or other bacteria to be passed onto food in cross contamination. Another

form of cross contamination can be the use of utensils used during the preparation of

food. Some examples of this type of cross contamination would be the use of the same

cutting board or knife to cut raw meat and not properly washed before cutting a different

type of meat, fruits, or vegetables. The initial meat cut might have had a bacteria that

can cause disease which is why that cutting board or knife must be properly washed

before their next use. Last but not least, another important form of food sanitation would

be to keep foods at their correct temperature in order to prevent spoilage which might

then cause disease.

Changes in the World through Food Sanitation:

There have been many changes in the world through food sanitation and its

effects on the world The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with other

international agencies or partners have done tremendous work in food sanitation to help

prevent and control the initiation and prevention of diseases. As previously mentioned,

proper hygiene is an important part of food sanitation. The Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention have programs such as “Global Wash” and “The Safe Water System”

which both help in the up keeping of food sanitation. The program Global Wash

promotes hygiene and proper washing of food before it is consumed. The Safe Water

System promotes the prevention of contaminated water in the use for food sanitation.

The Safe Water System program also educates communities on how they can treat

water and safely store it in their homes for future use (CDC, 2018). Without clean water,

there cannot be clean food items in homes. As previously mentioned, the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention work diligently and continuously to improve their

programs as well as their promotion of them through their international partnerships not

just in the U.S.

Technology and its Improvements on Food Sanitation:

As the population in the world is growing and those who are already in existence

are starting to live longer lives, the issue of food production has evolved more than ever.

There is the food supply and demand issue that continues to be imbalanced with more

demand of it and not enough supply. Third world countries are the most affected

through this supply and demand imbalance. Food sanitation is also a component when

we look at the problem of food supply and demand. As populations grow, farmers are

faced with the problem of having to grow more crops than as previously expected. They

are having to now rely on technology such as biotechnology to help them create more

food for the high demand. As the International Food Information Council Foundation

mentions, biotechnology is providing temporary aid to these farmers that are becoming

overwhelmed with the demand of the global populations for the need of food supply.

Biotechnology has also helped to reduce the use of machines that would output more

carbon dioxide into the air that in the long run could cause a different effect for plants

(IFICF, 2016).


In conclusion, there is much that all populations in the world have learned

throughout the years in regards to food sanitation. Each era taught the following one on

the best and most efficient form of food sanitation. These lessons taught throughout

time evolved as techniques and tools became more readily available and affordable for

each population. The techniques used for food sanitation were evolving with technology

as well as promotion of certain programs were also more readily available. The Centers

for Disease Control and Prevention has a major role when it comes to improving food

sanitation throughout the world. They have the capacity to work not only nationally but

internationally in proving the most updated information on food sanitation that can help

countries from being first world up to third world each in their own way. Food sanitation

will continue to evolve more and more as the demand of food supply continues to grow

and farmers are in need to use technology with this demand. We all hope that as the

years pass by food sanitation becomes simpler and hopefully less costly for those that

require it the most.



Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, March 29). Global Health Programs

| Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases | NCEZID | CDC.

Retrieved May 13, 2018, from


Chambers, P. J., & Pretorius, I. S. (2010). Fermenting knowledge: the history of

winemaking, science and yeast research. EMBO Reports, 11(12), 914–920.


International Food Information Council Foundation. (2016, April 19). Modern Farming:

Technology Helps Keep Food on the Table. Retrieved May 13, 2018, from



National Academies. (2018). Prevention & Treatment, Food Safety — the National

Academies. Retrieved May 13, 2018, from


National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. (2018, May 1). Pesticides.

Retrieved May 13, 2018, from


Nummer, B. A. (2002). National Center for Home Food Preservation | NCHFP

Publications. Retrieved May 12, 2018, from


Schafer, W. (2014). The Science of Freezing Foods : Freezing : Preserving and

Preparing : Food Safety : Food : University of Minnesota Extension. Retrieved


May 12, 2018, from http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-