What are pathogens?

A pathogen is any organism or agent that can produce illness and can occur at any stage of the supply chain.

Heart Food safety is at the heart of our business

Pathogens and Pathogen contamination

Pathogens are rarely found in dehydrated chillies due to low water activity and will not proliferate so long as low moisture is maintained. Examples of pathogens found in agricultural products are:


  • Salmonella spp. – Transmitted through contact with animal faeces, particularly birds during cultivation. Rarely survives the dehydration process.
  • Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens – are bacterium commonly found in the environment (e.g., soil and dust) and can also be transmitted through contact with animals. Both are spore formers meaning they may produce toxins which cannot be destroyed by drying or cooking.
  • All the above pathogens can be transmitted via people who are infected and do not wash their hands appropriately.


  • Mould species which produce toxins.

How does the Chilli Doctor Technical Team Manage Pathogens?

  • Approving suppliers who can demonstrate pathogen controls including pest control management, good agricultural and hygiene practices including hygiene training.
  • Ensuring relevant staff undertake hygiene training and the requirement to wash hands appropriately is part of the site hygiene policy.
  • The site has robust pest management control and hygiene practices.
  • Examining each delivery for the presence of moulds or signs of water ingress.
  • Rejecting of all products with damaged packaging.
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