Home > Contributing Factors > Overview of Contributing Factors
Overview of Contributing Factors
Contributing factors are environmental factors which increase risk of foodborne illness. Identification (and correction) of contributing factors facilitates prevention and control of foodborne diseases.
There are three major categories of contributing factors:
Contamination factors introduce or permit contamination of pathogenic microorganisms, natural toxins or other substances.
Survival factors allow survival of pathogenic microorganisms or fail to inactivate heat-labile toxins.
Proliferation factors allow pathogenic bacteria to multiply to numbers sufficient to cause illness or toxigenic bacteria and molds to elaborate toxins.
It is important to remember there is a relationship between contributing factors, food vehicles, and causative agents.