'Microbiology and Food' (1970)

Book jacket Book jacket

[hardback edition] 212pp, ISBN 0 950 1665 020X. [paperback edition] 212pp, ISBN 0 950 1665 1 0

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London: Northwood Publications Ltd, 2.40


Most food is composed of cells. But so is the human who eventually eats it, and the many organisms that can damage foodstuffs. This forms a common link between the different aspects of the study of food. Too often they are considered separately, but this book draws the threads of the argument together into a single pattern.

Similarly hygiene, food poisoning and spoliation are subjects often treated separately. Here there is also a common theme. The many species that eat foodstuffs—whether they are pathogenic bacteria, harmless fungi, rodents or man himself—all have basic similarities which become apparent when we examine the subject from the “cellular viewpoint”. In this way the production of cheese, the poisoning of contaminated corned beef, or the curing of salami can be seen to be similar processes. This book examines the cellular nature of living organisms as it relates to the preparation and handling of foodstuffs.

How are some forms of fermentation beneficial, whilst others are the most dangerous threat to life known? How may they be identified, and what can be done to control them ? What are the main types of food spoliation, what causes them, and what measures must be taken both pragmatically and in the interpretation of the law?

This book encompasses these subjects and many more. All significant forms of food contamination are discussed in a manner which will be valuable to the public health official, the caterer, the doctor or laboratory worker in the field, the student of food technology, or the head of the processing plant.

The extensive use of illustrations, some in full colour, provides a fascinating picture of the conditions in practice, and the uniquely informative tables (compiled from sources in many countries) bring together in this book a comprehensive summary of up-to-date knowledge and expertise.


Author's photo

Before studying biology at the University of Wales he was on the junior staff of the Public Health Laboratory Service of the Medical Research Council, and is now a consultant. He has a large collection of food-borne disease agents as specimens and also as microscope slides. Some of them are used as illustrations in this book.

B. J. Ford is the author of many articles and papers on biology and the microscope which have been published all over the world and in many languages. He has written a history of microscopy, is editor of Science Diary, and also contributes frequently to publications including The Times and New Scientist. He has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society and is an Associate of the Royal Society of Health.

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