All bacteria require liquid to absorb nourishment; therefore moist, damp foods such as cream-based salads make the perfect host.
There are two categories of diseases caused by pathogens: intoxications and infections. Intoxications are the result of poisons or toxins that enter the system after they have been produced in food as a result of bacterial growth rather than from the bacteria themselves. Infections are caused by bacteria or other organisms that enter and attack the human body.
Bacteria have no means of locomotion; they must be carried from one place to another. Travel may be initiated by unwashed hands, coughs, sneezes, other foods, unsanitary equipment or utensils, or environmental factors such as air, water, insects, and rodents. Only sterilization will eliminate bacteria, so it is extremely important to understand a few simple rules that will help prevent bacterial contamination in the kitchen.