In many countries, poultry meat, and in some cases eggs, has been identified as important sources of foodborne agents. Even present day technology cannot guarantee the production of pathogen-free poultry. This often results in an important contamination of the poultry meat with foodborne pathogens such as [Salmonella], [Campylobacter] and [Listeria]. In some studies, up to 100% of the tested samples have been found to be contaminated.
Unlike meat and dairy products, vegetables and fruit do not promote the growth of disease-causing bacteria. However, their surfaces may have adhered farm manure that is contaminated with pathogens. They may also have come in contact with [E. coli] and [Salmonella] through faeces of wild animals and handling by people with dirty hands. [Listeria monocytogenes], another pathogen, is naturally present in some soil, and it is not uncommon to find it on fresh produce.
Microbiologically-contaminated foods are particularly dangerous during pregnancy. For example, toxoplasmosis and listeriosis can be fatal for the foetus or cause severe malformations. Some foodborne disease may also leave chronic effects such as congenital malformations, heart and vascular disease, as well as disorder of the renal and immune systems.