Humans require several trace elements as components of the diet. Some of these elements are required in extremely small quantities (only micrograms per day). On the other hand, in higher concentrations, some elements may also have deleterious, even lethal, effects. Metals such as arsenic, chromium (Cr), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg) are naturally occurring chemical compounds. The contamination of food with these metals occurs mainly through human activities, such as farming and industry, or from contamination during food processing and storage. People can be exposed to these metals by ingesting contaminated food or water, and their accumulation in the body can lead to harmful effects over time. The main objective of this chapter is to provide a literature review on the various types of foodborne poisoning caused by the contamination of food with arsenic, Cr, Pb, and Hg and on food safety issues associated with the presence of these metals in food. Research findings from various studies carried out to examine the relationship between metal exposure and the adverse health effects of metals are addressed.
Part of the book: Significance, Prevention and Control of Food Related Diseases