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A Brief History of Food, Food Safety, and Hygiene

  • Aleardo Zaccheo
  • Eleonora Palmaccio
  • Morgan Venable
  • Isabella Locarnini-Sciaroni
  • Salvatore Parisi
Chapter

Abstract

Humans must have developed some rudimentary concept of food conservation very early on during the gathering and hunting era in order to survive. It is not possible to establish with precision when fire started to become more than a source of warmth and protection. Awareness of the presence and role of microorganisms in foods is usually believed to have started in the Neolithic with the advent of agriculture. Over time all civilizations became aware of the importance of hygiene and the danger of pests in the etiology of contagious diseases. Some techniques of food preservation, fermentation and vaccination began long before the germ theory of diseases was accepted. Other preventive measures such as food prohibitions and quarantine were taken before the onset of microbiology. Hand disinfection was met with skepticism from the medical community before its importance was finally recognized. Modern microbiology is now able to go “beyond the Koch’s postulates” to understand some previously “false negative” conclusions.

Keywords

Paleolithic Neolithic Etiology Germ theory Contagious Appertization Pasteurization Endospores Tyndallization Nonculturable microorganisms Antiseptic 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aleardo Zaccheo
    • 1
  • Eleonora Palmaccio
    • 1
  • Morgan Venable
    • 2
  • Isabella Locarnini-Sciaroni
    • 3
  • Salvatore Parisi
    • 4
  1. 1.bioethica food safety engineering sagl.Lugano-PregassonaSwitzerland
  2. 2.Consultant Registered DieticianMedegliaSwitzerland
  3. 3.Salumificio Sciaroni S.A.SementinaSwitzerland
  4. 4.Industrial ConsultantPalermoItaly

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