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Pathogens 2017, 6(2), 21; doi:10.3390/pathogens6020021
2. Foodborne Toxoplasmosis
3. How Do Humans Become Infected with T. gondii through Food?
3.1. Raw and Undercooked Meat
3.2. Milk and Milk Products
3.3. Fresh Plant Products and Water
4. Reducing Foodborne T. gondii Infections
- Good hygiene practices should be always observed i.e., frequent washing of hands or wearing of gloves when in contact with soil or feces from cats and other animals.
- Surface water should be boiled before drinking to kill oocysts.
- Meat should be cooked to safe temperatures. Beef, lamb, and veal roasts and steaks should be cooked to at least 63 °C, and pork, ground meat, and wild game should be cooked to 71 °C before eating. Whole poultry should be cooked to 82 °C in the thigh to ensure doneness.
- Use of unpasteurized goat’s milk should be avoided.
- Fruits and vegetables should be peeled or thoroughly washed before eating.
- Cutting boards, dishes, counters, utensils, and hands should always be washed with hot soapy water after they have had contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, or unwashed fruits or vegetables.
- Pregnant women should wear gloves when gardening and during any contact with soil or sand because cat waste might be in the soil or sand. After gardening or contact with soil or sand, hands should be thoroughly washed.
Conflicts of Interest
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|DALY (Netherlands 2009)||Estimated Cost of Illness in $ million (USA 2009)||Mean QALY Loss (USA 2009)|
|Salmonella spp. (non-typhoidal)||1270||3309||16,782|
|T. gondii (congenital)||2270||122||1642|
|T. gondii (acquired/adult)||1350||2852||9323|
|Food Type||Risk Level||Reference|
|Meat||Pork: The combination of Toxoplasma and undercooked pork ranked second among 10 pathogen-food combinations.|||
|Sheep: The prevalence of T. gondii in sheep is higher than lamb (<1-year-old).|||
|Goat: T. gondii prevalence in goat meat is not well defined due to the limited number of studies. The contamination level is lower than sheep due to difference in grazing patterns.|||
|Cattle: They are considered a poor intermediate host for T. gondii.|||
|Poultry: Chicken is considered an important host in the epidemiology of T. gondii infections.|||
|Organic/free-range: The prevalence of T. gondii in organic livestock and free-range poultry is significantly higher than animals raised by other methods due to free access to the outdoors and grazing pastures.|||
|Unpasteurized goat’s milk||Drinking of unpasteurized goat’s milk poses an elevated risk of T. gondii infection in human.|||
|Fresh plant products||Fresh plant products that are unwashed may be contaminated with oocysts from soil, or they may be washed using contaminated water.|||
|Water||Drinking of contaminated water or use of such water in food preparation.|||
|Raw seafood||Eating raw oysters, clams, or mussels are emerging risk factors.|||
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