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Food spoilage is caused by bacteria, yeasts, fungi, the food's own enzymes, insects, temperature fluctuation and oxidation. When eaten, food that is spoiled by bacteria or other microbes presents a disease hazard to humans.


Common agents of food spoilage and deterioration include temperature, light, moisture, microbial growth and oxygen. Certain oxidizing enzymes that occur naturally in food can also cause degradation. Food that is spoiled can be detected by changes in how it feels, smells...


Bacteria that make their own food are known as autotrophs or producers, and they do this through the process of photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. Most autotrophs use the process of photosynthesis, which usually involves converting carbon dioxide and water into glucose u...


Probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and miso contain good bacteria. Brine-pickled vegetables, sourdough, tempeh and probiotic dairy products are also meaningful sources of good bacteria. Prebiotic-rich foods such as legumes, honey and apple cider vinegar hel...


Some bacteria manufacture and absorb their own food, while others must consume substances like living organisms or decaying material through their cell walls. Bacteria break down food in a process called respiration, which for some strains of bacteria requires oxygen to...


Two foods that bacteria help make are yogurt and Swiss cheese. Yogurt is made from milk innoculated with "good" or probiotic bacteria, such as Lactobacillus delbrueckii. Swiss cheese is produced from Streptococcus salivarius, Lactobacillus, and Propionibacterium.


According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "non-pathogenic" means that an organism does not cause disease, so non-pathogenic bacteria do not cause illness. Some bacteria are helpful within their environments.