Everyone is susceptible to foodborne illnesses; however, there are certain groups of people that have lower immune system and are more susceptible and, also, suffer more severely. These groups need to ensure that what they eat is at a low risk of carrying a foodborne illness.
The groups that are more susceptible are: young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems or allergies.
Children: Children are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses, as their immune systems are still developing and are not as strong as adults. In addition, children consume more food in proportion to their bodies and therefore consume more toxins, placing them at a higher risk.
The elderly: Older people are more susceptible to food poisoning, as when you get older, your immune system and natural defences are weakened. Older individuals also need to keep in mind that some foodborne illnesses can be fatal due to their age.
Pregnant women: As for pregnant women, there are certain foods to avoid, and one of the reasons is food poisoning. Food poisoning for pregnant women can increase chances of premature delivery and/or abortion. The reason as to why pregnant women are more susceptible is due to their elevated and changing hormonal levels, impacting upon the women’s immune system, thereby weakening it.
The immune-compromised: Due to the weakened immune systems for individuals that have such chronic illnesses as HIV/AIDs, it means that they are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses.
Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and/or immune-compromised individuals, due to their low immune systems, are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses and need to keep in mind of the foods that they consume, ensuring these are of low risk. In addition, venues in which prepare food need to ensure that foods are clean, and all food is within ‘use by’ dates, thereby ensuring that all food produced is safe to consume.