Why food left out for too long be dangerous for consumption?


SOMETIMES we accidentally leave out food for a while in the open while we go about our work. While the uncovered food in itself poses some health risks (flies, other creepy crawlies and such that might decide to crawl into our food), it is really the microorganisms in the food that we should be worried about.

Some bacteria are capable of forming highly resistant and endurable structures called spores.

Bacterial spores are resistant to heat, freezing, drying, chemicals and other adverse environments. This means the spores can survive the normal processes of food storage and preparation.

Temperature, humidity, oxygen and water are essential for bacterial growth. Under favourable conditions, a growing bacterial population can double at regular intervals ranging from about 15 minutes to several hours.

This means that the numbers of bacteria in food can increase rapidly and soon become hazardous to health, particularly if the food has a favourable temperature and water content. This is why we should be wary of food that has been left out too long in the open or in warm temperatures conducive to bacterial growth.