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0 Introduction

Food can make us sick if it contains either dangerous organisms or toxins. Often
the toxic food looks, smells, and tastes okay. You might suspect food
poisoning if several people who have eaten the same thing develop similar
symptoms, or if a child gets sick without being exposed to anyone else who is
sick. (Dr. Alan Greene, August 2007)We do not know the level of cleanliness of
the food we consumed. (William Schafer, Extention Food Technologist, 1998) At
the end of the day, when we suffered from diarrhea, stomach ache, vomit and
etc then only we realized that we had been poisoned by the food we eat. In
addition sometime, grade A restaurant also can cause you to get food
poisoning. For example one of our group member Nurul Azzahra, suffered from
food poisoning after having dinner at one the grade A restaurant in Shah
Alam. The question is how this kind of restaurant deserves to get grade A, which
mean good.

In Malaysia, there are many cases involving food poisoning that has been reported
especially among school children. (J.D Lovrenciear, Semenyih, 2007, Nov
01) Toxins from chemicals or pesticides can also cause food poisoning.
Improper handling of foods can lead to the present of bacteria. Bacteria
such as Campylobacter, E.Coli and salmonella are the common types that
can cause infection to occur. (Barbara P. Homeier,MD, March 2005) We must
know particularly the causes and symptoms that contribute to the food poisoning
and the right methods of handling food should be practiced in order to prevent
food poisoning.

1.1 Background

This section will present detailed explanation of food poisoning, the nature if the
symptoms and the causes and the prevention

1.1.1 The definition of food
Food as defined by Mac Millan Advance Leaner for English Dictionary,
Page 547, is “the things that people or animal eats or the things that
plants need in order to grow”

1.1.2 The definition of poison

Poison is defined as a substance that can kill or harm people, animals or
plants. (Longman Active Study Dictionary, New Edition, Page 513)

1.1.3 The description food poisoning

Therefore, food poisoning is an illness affecting your stomach cause by
eating foods that contains harmful bacteria and toxin. (Mac Millan
Advanced Learner Dictionary, page 547) Toxins from chemicals or
pesticides can also cause food poisoning. Improper handling of foods can
lead to the present of bacteria. Bacteria such as Campylobacter, E.Coli
and salmonella are the common types that can cause infection to occur.
(Barbara P. Homeier,MD, March 2005)

1.2 Terms of reference

On the 21 of January 2008, Mr. Che Azmi Che Mahmood, the BEL422
lecturer had instructed us, Shellney@Veronica Sadom, Nurul Azzahra Bt
Othaman, Shahira Bt Mohamad and Faizah Bt Sukiman to conduct report
writing on a chosen topic. Our group had chosen a topic on food poisoning in
Shah Alam from year 2005 to 2007. This report will include the background of
the study, causes and symptoms, statistical data on the findings and
conclusion. A complete report on the above matter with recommendations must
be submitted on the 17th March 2008.

The objectives of the report are:

1.2.1 To identify the causes that contributes to the food poisoning
1.2.2 To identify the symptoms that contributes to the food poisoning
1.2.1 To determine the right methods of handling food should be practiced
in order to prevent food poisoning

1.3 Method and scope of the report

In conducting this report, our group referred to the secondary data which
were obtained from internet, published report and articles. All the data were
gathered and analyzed. Our scope will be the increasing number of food
poisoning in Shah Alam from year 2005 to 2007. (Table 2.1, Data gathered from
Health Department)

2.0 Findings

This section will highlight the findings from the various online and printed
sources, data from Health Department.

Table 2.1

Year Number of cases

2005 55

2006 10

2007 211

(Sources: Health Department Selangor)

The Number of Food Poisoning Cases in Shah Alam
for the year 2005 to 2007


Number of Cases

number of cases


2005 2006 2007

The bar chart shows the number of food poisoning cases in Shah Alam which
occurred in year 2005 to 2007. The data was gathered from Selangor Health

From the bar chart we can see that the highest case of food poisoning is in year
2007 which consist of 211 cases. On the other hand, the lowest cases occurred in
year 2006 which is only 10 cases reported. In year 2005, the case of food
poisoning in Shah Alam is 55 cases. Hopefully, the number of food poisoning
cases will decrease for the next year.

2.1 The causes that lead to food poisoning

2.1.1 Improper handle of food

Normally, foods that are poorly handled can easily become contaminate.
Those peoples who do not wash their hand after using the bathroom
often cause contamination. (John P Cunha, DO)

2.1.2 Inappropriate storage

Inappropriate storage of foods will cause bacteria to spread. Flies or other
insect that alight on the foods we eat can also cause food poisoning. (John
P Cunha, DO)

2.1.3 Contaminated water (Tam Yong Yee, NST Online)

Fresh fruit and vegetable that is wash with water that is contaminated
with animal manure or human sewage may also cause contamination.
(Monica Rhodes, March 15, 2007)

2.1.4 Uncooked food

Some people get poisoned by eating food that has not been cooked
properly so that the bacteria have not been destroyed. (Dr. Rob
Hicks, December, 2006)

2.1.5 Food prepared by unhealthy person

The possibility for someone to get a food poisoning is great when they eat
the foods cooked by someone who is unhealthy. For example when he
or she coughing during cooking or preparing the foods. (Malaysia
Health Department)

2.1.6 Overusing pesticide

Food can be intoxicated through the overusing of pesticide during the
growing of the vegetable or using the pesticide that is illegal. (John P
Cunha, DO)

2.2 The symptoms of food poisoning

2.2.1 Stomach ache and vomiting
The symptoms of food poisoning can vary, depending on what has caused
it. The most common symptoms are vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea
due to inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. (The National Library
of Medicine, 02 July 2007). Incubation period are different for each
cause of food poisoning. Some types produce symptoms and illness
within 30 minutes to a few hours. Most cases of food poisoning take
between 12 to 48 hours to develop and symptoms come on

suddenly. (John P Cunha, DO)

2.2.2 Fever and Chills

Symptoms may also include fever and chills, dehydration, muscles aches,
weaknesses and exhaustion. Other types take between a few days and
up to a week before symptoms start to appear. (The National Library of
Medicine, reviewed by Daniel Parlman, MD 02 July 2007) If the food is due
to an infection with campylobacter, it may take a week or longer to
develop symptoms. It is the most commonly identified food-borne
bacterial infection encountered in the world. (John P Cunha, DO)

3.0 Conclusions

Based on the findings of the study, it can be concluded that many causes will
make food poisoning occurs. Since that the number of food poisoning is increase
seriously, due to many causes that some people did not take it as consideration.

People must take a good care of themselves, pay attention to the cleanliness of the
places surround them and also the food hygienic to avoid them from food
poisoning. It is important for us to pay particular attention to food
preparation and storage to avoid food being contaminated. Bacteria can
grow faster especially in the moist and warm weather and these may cause the
food to spoil quickly and it can possibly cause illness. Therefore, we have to
make sure that we should practice the right way of food sanitation.

From the findings, normally incubation periods or a symptoms will varied

depending on what has caused it and individual immune. Usually, people who
suffered this illness will take a few days or longer days to recover. They need to
have enough rest and complete nutrition for their body to cover back from
dehydrated process.

As a conclusion, the growing number of food poisoning cases in Shah Alam is due
to many factors that is proven by the causes and symptoms mentioned earlier.
4.0 Recommendation

4.1 Immediately putting cold foods such as raw meat and fish into the
refrigerator or freezer as soon as you return from shopping, or after
cooking where you kept all the balance of the raw meat into freezer,
and putting any cooked left over into the fridge as soon as they
cooled down. (Barbara P.Homeier,MD, reviewed March 2005)
4.2 Making sure any reheated food is piping hot and all foods is covered and
chilled. (Dr. Rob Hicks, December 2006)
4.3 Washing your hands after visiting the toilet, before handling food or
touching ready food. (Monica Rhodes, March 15, 2007)
4.4 Make sure that chopping boards, knives and other utensils are washed and
dried properly after use before storage to reduce the risk of bacteria
growing. (Monica Rhodes, March 15, 2007)
4.5 Keeping all types of food and drink away from any household chemicals,
such as cleaning products and bleach.


1.NST online (
2.Medical Record unit, KJNS (Selangor of Health Department)
3.Dr. Rob Hicks. 2006, December.
4.Barbara P Homeier, MD. 2005, March. What is poisoning?