Its seems as though every day there is another outbreak of bacterial contamination in food products, if you follow the twitter feed of the FDA and the posts on Microbeworld.org daily, as I do. Most recently, red pepper and Italian sausages were the source of salmonella contamination and had to be recalled. There are a large number of potential pathogens that can infect food and that infection can occur at multiple points between the harvest of the meat or vegetable and up to the time of purchase of the product in a supermarket or restaurant.
This informative article, originally published on Bitesize Bio before Thanksgiving, gives an overview of the pathogens that can infect food and their symptoms, the methods of infection of food, and some data from the CDC on the most prevalent disease causing organisms. Although we hear the most about Salmonella, it is actually not the most common food-borne pathogen.
To learn what is, continue reading at the link above.