Risk Factors for Foodborne Bacterial Illnesses during Ramadan

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Food Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Nutrition, School of Medicine, Biochemistry and Nutrition, Endoscopic & Minimally Invasive Surgery, and Cancer Research Centers, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Introduction: In the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during daytime and mostly take two meals per day. One of these major meals is consumed before sunrise (Sahur), and the other is taken after sunset (Iftar). The partial nutritional deprivation in Ramadan may affect the immune system, while the other rituals of this month might render fasting individuals susceptible to various pathological conditions, such as food-borne infections. The present study aimed to evaluate the risk factors of food-borne bacterial diseases in Ramadan. Methods: A comprehensive search was performed via databases such as Google Scholar and PubMed to identify the titles and abstracts of the relevant articles using specific terms regarding food safety issues, Ramadan, and fasting. Results: The major risk factors associated with the occurrence of food-borne diseases during Ramadan were inappropriate storage and handling of cooked food products, in-advance preparation of meals, and nutritional deficiency. Conclusion: According to the results, prevention of food-borne infections during Ramadan requires critical measures, such as the provision of high-quality food ingredients, improving personal hygiene, and cooking and storing of food products at proper temperatures.


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