The Effects Of Early-Life Stress On The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis And Depression Sample Assignment


Every day, there is new evidence of how the environment one gets to be in their formative years significantly impacts our experiences and brain functions. Stress in early life can adversely affect the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis’s programming and development, cause variations of neurochemistry and signalling pathways involved in regulating neuroplasticity, and results in neurobehavioral changes. The HPA axis plays a significant role in arbitrating the long term effects of stress by releasing a flow of corticosteroids in adrenal glands. Activating of HPA allows for an appropriate behavioural and brain response on a stressor, although this adaptation may change susceptibility to stress in later life.

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis starts its development in the fetus and continues after the child’s birth. HPA development can be protected by some mechanisms which prevent corticosteroid excess exposure to the growing and maturing brain. Nonetheless, exposure to any stress in early life is said to contain tremendous magnitudes on HPA functioning in later life. This affects both its basal and stress-induced activity. All of our early life experiences and genetic makeup determine our vulnerability to mental health disorders. This paper will focus on neurobehavioral aspects like depression resulting from structural and functional changes of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.


Studies have shown that exposure to adverse environmental conditions in early life has long-lasting effects on health, mental and behavioural functions (de Abreu, et al. 2022). In human beings, negative early experiences like famine, neglect by parents, violence, and drug abuse can cause developmental disorders such as lack of attention, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks, and cardiogenic defects. This paper sheds light concerning the adverse effects of early life stress to HPA axis and depression.

Humans are known to adapt and habituate to environments they are exposed to; this is with the help of the corticosteroid releasing hormone (CRH) that co-expressed vasopressin that expresses CRH effects. The CRH neurons projects to the median prominence and in the brain where stress is defined as any condition that may include an adversative experience, an environment, and a peril that seems to change an organism’s normal homeostasis. This prompts physiological reaction that involves the peripheral and central structures by releasing glucocorticoids in the adrenal cortex from the triggering of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA), which not only controls the adrenal innervation of the autonomic system but also affects frame of mind. Although this adaptation is helpful in normal conditions since it assists the forecast of experience of similar conditions during later life, in this situation, it appears to cause higher susceptibility to illnesses.

The public health sector should be concerned with the lifelong consequences of early life stress on various environments’ hormonal, neuronal and nutritional structures. Reducing and overall prevention of stress in early life is ideal (Eachus, 2021). Modifying later settings can Be beneficial in accentuating illnesses and identifying targets of interest for intervention. Future studies should be concerned with significant lifestyle factors that are in play during the critical periods of exposure and their effects on adults and their entire life.


There have been various studies with very similar and consistent results that early life stress and trauma increase the risk of adulthood depression cases in the world. Indeed, psychosocial stress in early life can adequately predict depression in adults outside of any genetic tendencies. Some examples include; women who experience abuse as children have a higher likelihood of having eating disorders and are overweight, and have a food addiction. A famine situation has been associated with adults’ poor life choices like smoking and lack of physical activity, high food security in a maternally stressed woman during the period of pregnancy, and overweight infants.

It has been proved that parental stress may result in their children becoming overweight and resultantly obese depending on how the children perceive this stressor. The increased intake of fast foods in adolescents and children is related to stress. There is a link between the level of receiving the pressure and food consumption frequency, and it can be controlled by palatable food access paired with physical activities. With this control, early life stress can be reduced in children, and poor metabolic outcomes can be avoided in adults.

Children frequently imitate the behaviours of their parents. Therefore, parents must improve their childhood care since it is critical in developing healthy behaviours and good outcomes in children. There should be an effective push for parents to strengthen their attitudes toward childcare, for example, by reducing stress and advocating for healthy eating habits to help curb all results of early life stress to all successive generations and advance their health status.

Engaging in physical activities at a young age has also been very important in facilitating a role against most of the childhood stressors in the environment. Highly active children execute reduced salivary cortisol reaction to nerve-wracking situations; this reflects in the lower activity of the HPA axis. Mistreatment of children is associated with increased levels of inflammation as adults. Early life stress and the increase in inflammation as an adult can offer clinical reverence and links to adverse childhood experiences and a risky adulthood metabolism. Physical activities benefit the immune system functions and reduce inflammation markers that may be related to disease and, consequently, lifestyle decisions as an adult.

Behavioural characteristics associated with childhood stress amplify the risks of psychiatric and psychosocial disorders. Behaviour alone may influence the chances of metabolic diseases.

In the matter of sex, the female gender is severely affected by the onset of ELS, the ratio being twice more likely in women than men. Women usually get more significant detrimental effects of early life stress, such as, major depressive disorder. Thus far, there have been several unsuccessful trials of a model mouse successfully replicating the sexual bias symptomatology. Both sex differences go beyond the occurrence rate; this is evident in the manifestation of disease symptoms, the causes, the complexity, the onset of the disease and ultimately, the treatment efficiency. Regardless of the noteworthy sex differences, it is not yet known the cause of females being more susceptible to stress-induced pathology.

In the event of something inducing stress happening, the body has an initial response facilitated by the sympathetic nerve. This action causes the discharge of the hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine that trigger physical reactions to stress like increased heart rate. After this initial reaction, it takes the body about 10 seconds to stimulate HPA. The hypothalamus of the brain first discharges the hormone corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) which acts as the fundamental regulator of the HPA axis (Ross, 2018). In addition to increasing the sympathetic nervous system activity, the CRH likewise signals the pituitary glands below the hypothalamus. The hormones Glucocorticoids can influence and affect anti-inflammatory, metabolism and the immune system. Cortisol is then released from the adrenal cortex, which affects the body. Cortisol is one of the primary stress hormones that upsurges glucose in the blood. All activities of the HPA axis are controlled through the negative response actions of the glucocorticoid hormones.

Any exposure to early life stress, prenatal or postnatal, has been seen to impact the development of signalling pathways; this results in permanent physical and regulatory alterations that incline to later-life diseases. Clinical, epidemiology and additional experimental studies have shown that ELS yields lifelong hyper-responsiveness to stress by hyperbolic circulating glucocorticoids, with advanced anxiety with depression-related characteristics (Galts, 2019). There have been new evidence that has come to life that has proved early life stress-induced metabolic maladies. This shows some probable mechanisms that underlay early life stress induced dissension in the HPA axis and the succeeding results on energy output, application and disbursement.

If there are developmental deficiencies in hippocampal synaptic plasticity, it results in some of the most detrimental changes in brain function started by ELS (Nishi, 2020). The reduced synaptic plasticity is typically conveyed by reduced synaptic proteins necessary for synaptic function. A study discovered that maternal separation and chronic restraint stress are associated with anxiety and cognitive function in adults, primarily through examination of behavioural changes and the analysis of the hippocampal expression. The same studies showed concern associated with behaviour and some mental deficiencies in mice. It is thus sufficient to gamble that exposure to early life stress resulted in reduced synaptic plasticity through the inhibition of some pathways in the hippocampus, which may have resulted in the vulnerability to stress levels and mental disorders during adulthood.

A study was conducted to show the effects of parental separation on children during world war two. Those separated from their parents showed the tendency for higher salivary cortisol and plasma in comparison to the groups that did not undergo separation. They also executed high salivary cortisol reactivity (Naeem, 2021). The women separated from their husbands showed a higher reference line in plasma cortisol, while men experienced higher reactivity in the stress levels test. The persons who experienced separation in early childhood showed higher effects to those detached as infants or the school-going ages.

Stress experienced during early life has detrimental short-term and lifelong effects on the human psychiatric and psychological system in the central nervous system and its peripherally. Bipolar disorder, depression, post-traumatic stress are only a few major psychiatric disorders associated with early life stress (Martín-Sánchez, 2022). Early life stress presents a complicated activity of figuring out the physiological adjustments such as the inflammatory changes, deregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, epigenetic changes, which has made it a challenge to identify biomarkers linked with physical and psychiatric disorders.

Glucocorticoids fuel nourishing reactions by aggregating the release of neuropeptides and preventing the release of corticotrophin hormone from the hypothalamus through the orexigenic effect of glucocorticoids can often be neutralized by leptin (Gupta & Mohanty, 2020). The amplified availability of glucocorticoids plays a character in modifying tissue insulin signalling by exacerbating phosphorylation. In faunas exposed to ELS, there is evidence of exacerbated availability of soft tissue glucocorticoids and, consequently, display a reduced exudation of insulin. This situation can result from consistent contact to a high vitality diet in later life.


The separation from parents during childhood can cause alterations in a person’s stress physiology far later in adulthood. Parents should try to create an environment that is safe for their children to reduce early life stress and therefore curb the effect of changing the HPA axis response to stress. Physical activities should be advocated for throughout a person’s life since it reduces the occurrence of unnecessary stressors in the life of an individual. Exercise also reduces the secretion of salivary cortisol reaction in stressful situations. Activating the HPA axis allows for an appropriate behavioural and brain response on a stressor, although this adaptation may change susceptibility to stress in later life. Further studies are required to determine the different responses to early stress by different genders.


de Abreu, M. S., Giacomini, A. C., Genario, R., Demin, K. A., Amstislavskaya, T. G., Costa, F., … & Kalueff, A. V. (2022). Understanding early-life pain and its effects on adult human and animal emotionality: Translational lessons from rodent and zebrafish models. Neuroscience Letters, 768, 136382.

Eachus, H., Choi, M. K., & Ryu, S. (2021). The effects of early life stress on the brain and behaviour: Insights from zebrafish models. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 1209.

Galts, C. P., Bettio, L. E., Jewett, D. C., Yang, C. C., Brocardo, P. S., Rodrigues, A. L. S., … & Gil-Mohapel, J. (2019). Depression in neurodegenerative diseases: common mechanisms and current treatment options. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 102, 56-84.

Gupta, P., & Mohanty, B. (2020). Atypical antipsychotic drug modulates early life infection induced impairment of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: An age related study in mice. European journal of pharmacology, 872, 172978Lai, M. C., & Huang, L. T. (2011). Effects of early life stress on neuroendocrine and neurobehavior: mechanisms and implications. Pediatrics & neonatology, 52(3), 122-129.

Martín-Sánchez, A., González-Pardo, H., Alegre-Zurano, L., Castro-Zavala, A., López-Taboada, I., Valverde, O., & Conejo, N. M. (2022). Early-life stress induces emotional and molecular alterations in female mice that are partially reversed by cannabidiol. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 115, 110508.

Naeem, K., Al Kury, L. T., Nasar, F., Alattar, A., Alshaman, R., Shah, F. A., … & Li, S. (2021). Natural dietary supplement, carvacrol, alleviates LPS-induced oxidative stress, neurodegeneration, and depressive-like behaviors via the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway. Journal of Inflammation Research, 14, 1313.

Nishi, M. (2020). Effects of early-life stress on the brain and behaviors: implications of early maternal separation in rodents. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(19), 7212.

Ross, J. A., Gliebus, G., & Van Bockstaele, E. J. (2018). Stress-induced neural reorganization: a conceptual framework linking depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 85, 136-151.

The Epic Of Gilgamesh, Relationship With Ishtar And Enkidu Free Essay

Scholarly study of Gilgamesh

From the writings of “The Epic of Gilgamesh: Thoughts on genre and meaning,” by (George 2), it is clear that most scholars have specialized in the analysis of Gilgamesh’s epic and have approached the following poems using some of them the most critical methods. “The Epic of Gilgamesh” is authored by Andrew George and reported to have first been published in 1999 and later included in Penguin books in 2000. According to comparisons in the book, oral patterns and narrative structure of Gilgamesh have been clearly outlined. This book consists of the epic story of Gilgamesh, the study of relationships from a critical perspective to enhance the study of mythology and address the issue of genre in literature. The study of the Goddess of Gilgamesh explores the areas that are likely to contribute to gaining adequate knowledge and yield more insight. The study of the genre has a firm foundation and has been established as a literary-critical tool. The advanced criticism has questioned the usefulness and the validity hence creating a sign of maturity. Precisely, literary criticisms and Gilgamesh’s epic poems have been of great novelty regarding the study of Goddess Gilgamesh and the relationships.

Relationship between Gilgamesh and Ishtar

Furthermore, while narrowing down to the millennial study of the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, the study of Gilgamesh is used in the training of scribes. The story of Gilgamesh is not only lovely but also helpful in equal measure for beginners. “And as a difficult classic of traditional literature, senior pupils studied it at greater length nearing the end of their training”. The use of legendary language and familiarity with Gilgamesh’s story has created lively study and life’s profound poems in a classroom setting.

Additionally, the study of Gilgamesh is imbued with morality from a philosophical point of view; the probable reasons why it has been in study and has received consideration as vital for the student’s intellectual development. The themes that arise from the study of Gilgamesh are absorbing and contain details that capture readers’ attention and lighten the mood. Gilgamesh used cuneiform tablets which are described to be smooth and rectangle-shaped. The Gilgamesh kingdom had various forms of gods and deities.

Furthermore, the Sumerian and Akkadian sources show that the Babylonians believed service to gods to be the sole purpose for the human race. Enlil who is said to have imposed the burden (Bing) of carrying the earth to humankind through diggings. The Gilgamesh kingdom was a religious one and had several temples. In “Religion and Humanity in Mesopotamian Myth and Epic.” by (Pryke) there is constant reference to the polytheistic nature of divine hierarchy. For example, “In Atrahasis and the myth of the creation of Enuma Elish,” humans were born to serve the gods (Pryke) and perform menial tasks. Gilgamesh’s epic shows how multifaceted the relationships are involving gods and humans.

Humanity is vulnerable to destruction by divine supernatural powers, and humans successfully manipulate deities emotionally with the assistance and guidance of Ea. Communication to higher powers is through giving offerings, which is an effective way to access divine support. Moreover, the theme of sexuality is evident in Gilgamesh’s kingdom. Sexuality is a divine power with great potential attached to the god of love and war. Sex fulfilled a crucial function in the continuation of life and as a form of promoting shared intimacy and pleasure among the two genders. Additionally, because of life and death in Gilgamesh’s mythology, the immortality of deities outlines the human sphere of existence from that of divine power. In Gilgamesh’s epic, life and death form central themes in understanding complex dynamics in both deities and humans.

The relationship between Gilgamesh and goddess Ishtar is one of those worth studying; the ideal moments and conversions are breathtaking and unfolds in a series of instances. To begin with, the article “The evolution of the Gilgamesh epic” by (Tigay) shows how the beauty of Gilgamesh triggers an immense desire in goddess Ishtar, which makes Ishtar propose to Gilgamesh. The poet writes, “On the beauty of Gilgamesh, Lady Ishtar looked with longing: Come, Gilgamesh, be you, my bridegroom!” However, Gilgamesh turns scornful towards Ishtar, and he reminds her of the fates suffered(George) through her numerous conquests. Gilgamesh says to Ishtar, “[whence would come] my food and sustenance? [Would you feed me] bread that is fit for a god, [and pour me ale] that is fit for a king?’ It also comes as a doubt that Gilgamesh has for the relationship and marriage between him and Ishtar. Ishtar turns furious and rushes to heaven. In heaven, Ishtar becomes persuasive towards her father, Anu, to give her the fiery Bull of Heaven to punish Gilgamesh in death. When the Bull of Heaven is issued, it causes massive havoc in Uruk. Fortunately, Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill the bull (George) after spotting its weak point. Later, Both Gilgamesh and Enkidu insult Ishtar due to her filled death mission, and they triumph in the palace upon their return. Besides, when Ishtar tries to betroth Gilgamesh after successfully killing the giant, Humbaba, his rise in self-esteem and self-worth creates his derailment from Ishtar’s “seductive wiles.” Gilgamesh insults Ishtar for being like a brazier smouldering in the cold and like a sandal that trips the wearer. In the “On the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh,” authored by (Bing 1), Kramer has considered the death of Enkidu to be inclined to Babylon rather than Sumerian. This is because Kramer strongly contrasts the features in the Sumerian poem ” Gilgamesh, Enkidu and the Nether World.”

Relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu

Gilgamesh relates with Enkidu in helping kill the bull through dotting its weak point. Also, Gilgamesh holds celebrations in the palace with Enkidu in victory for winning against Ishtar’s mission of wanting to kill Gilgamesh. The theme of friendship against a single enemy is very evident in Enkidu and Gilgamesh’s relationship. He says, ‘My friend, why were the great gods in counsel?’ Moreover, in the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh has been used to create an ignominy. Gilgamesh’s ignominy is connected to Enkidu’s languish while on the deathbed as Enkidu dies.

Second, Gilgamesh seems to have been very close and in the centre of Enkidu’s heart. Gilgamesh is the only person with the hint about Enkidu’s dream. According to the dream, Enkidu has a vision of the goods assembled to issue a decree in his doom. In the dream, Enkidu’s earlier made door of cedar in the temple fails to secure him a favor from god Enlil. Moreover, the relationship between Enkidu and Gilgamesh is established through the punishments rendered by the gods, Anul, Enlil, Ea and Shamash, who is a celestial god. Enkidu says to Gilgamesh, “My brother, this night what a dream [I dreamed!] The gods Anu, Enlil, Ea and celestial Shamash [held assembly]” The gods bring the death of Enkidu because both Enkidu and Gilgamesh slew the Bull of Heaven and Humbaba, the giant, that guarded the mountains with cedar. Anu speaking to Enlil, says, “These, because they slew the Bull of Heaven, and slew:!-Humbaba that [guarded] the mountains dense-[ wooded1 with cedar,” therefore “between these two [let one of them die!].”

My relation to the text

In my relation to Gilgamesh and Enkidu and Ishtar’s context, I am aware of people with scornful behavior, just like Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh scorned god Ishtar upon killing Humbaba. In a real-life setting, friends’ egos and their general self-worth tend to increase whenever they succeed or accomplish something great. In addition, it is entirely normal for the gender to express admiration based on beauty and character. For example, in today’s society, people express affections through compliments through descriptive adaptive messages which trigger intimacy. It supports the idea of Ishtar expressing admiration for Gilgamesh, which reflects the society we are living in today. However, in the affectionate expression theory and the societal code of conduct, it is unacceptable for a female to propose to a male, which is the case with god Ishtar to Gilgamesh. Perhaps, this proves why Gilgamesh turned down Ishtar’s proposal request in the mythology.

Moreover, I strongly feel that I would hardly accept a proposal request made similar to Ishtar’s. A female-inclined proposal devalues the position of a man in the world and creates a tainted image of a man in the world of dating.

Conclusion of Gilgamesh mythology

In conclusion, the eminent relationships between Gilgamesh and Ishtar, Gilgamesh and Enkidu and Gilgamesh himself have been advanced in aspects worth creating a personal relation. The scholarly articles, literal criticisms and the Gilgamesh poems bring a lot of value from Gilgamesh mythology. They have led to great novelty regarding the study of Gilgamesh and his relationships.

Works Cited

Bing, John Daniel. “On the Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh.” Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society 7.1 (1975): 2191.

George, Andrew.  The Epic of Gilgamesh: Thoughts on genre and meaning. No. 21. Peeters, 2007.

Pryke, Louise. “Religion and Humanity in Mesopotamian Myth and Epic.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion. 2016.

Today, Jeffrey H. The evolution of the Gilgamesh epic. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2002.

The Errors And Events That Contributed To The E-Coli Outbreak In 1993 Free Sample

“There are now more than two hundred known diseases transmitted through food. The Jack in the Box outbreak is a cautionary tale that points out the significance of food safety” (Benedict, 2011). When it comes to food, safety is always the most important thing because a simple error like not heating to the right temperature might lead to poisoning that could cause long-term effects on the victims and, in some cases, death. Therefore, the level of safety measures needed for food and other food products should be maintained from the producers, suppliers, and transportation to preparation. Another essential part of food production and delivery is the legislation and the laws put in place by policymakers to ensure that the general population is given the highest quality foods that will not poison or lead to an outbreak of chronic diseases like E-coli or Salmonella.

The E-coli outbreak in 1993 is an excellent example of what can happen when food is mishandled at any stage of the preparation. The primary cause of E-coli has been identified to be the “consumption of undercooked ground meat,” which then leads to the development of the deadly HUS, especially in children. Therefore, the conclusion made on the outbreak was that the children who suffered HUS had consumed undercooked ground meat that had the E-coli pathogen. This means that several errors were made in production, manufacturing, and cooking at Jack in the Box restaurants.

The errors and events that contributed to the outbreak with the entities involved

Jack of the Box

As the place where that spread the pathogen through their hamburgers, Jack in the Box had made a significant omission which ultimately caused infections on the victims. The Washington state had put in a food regulation that ensured that meat was supposed to be cooked to an internal temperature of 155⁰, the temperature at which the E-coli pathogen would be killed. However, it came as a shock that the officials from the company, including the President and the recently promoted VP, who was an expert on food safety and should have been aware of the regulation, primarily since their company mainly deals with meat products. They had maintained the Federal government regulation of cooking meat to an internal temperature of 140⁰, which could not terminate the pathogen, making them the primary entity responsible for the outbreak. Jack in the Box, as the significant hamburger outlet in the state with over sixty-six restaurants in Washington state, was ignorant of all the possible diseases caused by eating undercooked meat. Another significant omission found later by the victim’s lawyer Bill was that all the outlets linked to the outbreak were using old grills that kept the cooking temperature lower, explaining why some of the restaurants did not affect their consumers despite getting the meat from the same supplier, Von.

Reading through Benedict’s book, it is evident that none of the officials from the company knew about the A-coil pathogen and how lethal it can be to the consumers. Their ignorance of the pathogen made them fail at putting up restaurant regulations on how to ensure their many consumers would not be affected by the disease. The food microbiologist that the company hired during the crisis, Dave Theno, notes that Jack in the Box did not have any meat specifications handling the E-coli pathogen (Benedict, 2011). That means that none of their chain of processes from transportation, storage, handling, or preparation had any internal protocols of preventing E-coli contamination or interventions that can be taken in case of contamination. Therefore, even though the company did not create the pathogen in the beef, they are still responsible for the outbreak because they did not take the necessary precautions to ensure that their consumers ate quality and safe food, especially since their clientele included children who could succumb to the pathogen very fast without any way to reverse the effects of the pathogen.

Therefore, as a restaurant with many consumers, the officials of Jack in the Box should have been up to date with any changes in the legislation, every possible foodborne disease that might come as a result of eating any of their products, and having specifications for their food substances to prevent contamination from any pathogen. They should have also cooked the ground meat to the right temperature as regulated by the Washington state health department. These actions could have prevented the outbreak, and no consumer’s life would have been lost.

The health department

Another entity responsible for the outbreak was the department of health, especially under the federal government meat specification, to prevent the E-coli pathogen. In collaboration with the health department, the federal government needs to establish proper rules and regulations that ensure that every person delivering food gives the people safe and high-quality food, whether in terms of the produce or the final product. The federal government’s regulation on the temperatures to which meat should have been cooked was 140⁰, where they believed that the pathogen could be killed at this temperature, of which any temperatures above this would be overcooking the meat. This is the temperature required for restaurants to adhere to, and Jack in the Box used the same temperature. However, the Washington state regulation was 155⁰, which is different from the federal government’s. One can then deduce that these authorities should have agreed on the same regulations that would ensure every meat consumer is protected, whether at home or in restaurants. The Washington health department and the national health department should have worked together to change the minimum temperature regulation for cooking meat to be implemented all over the country because any meat containing the pathogen can infect the population if not killed at the right temperature.

Therefore, if the cases had been from restaurants that were not under the boundaries of the Washington state regulations, they would have been right in cooking their meat to 140⁰ internal temperature because that was the national regulation by the federal government. Therefore, they would not have been legally responsible for the outbreak, and other entities could have been blamed. The authorities also failed to publicize the 1982 E-coli outbreak caused by McDonalds’ which would have informed the other restaurants on the pathogen and how fatal it can be for the population. Sharing the information on more platforms would have been very informative for many businesses, so they wouldn’t have been as ignorant of the pathogen as Jack in the Box when the outbreak occurred. The regulations need to be thorough and evidence-based, especially when dealing with food that can be lethal in poisoning, to ensure there are no extreme cases of poisoning, whether in restaurants or the food cooked at home, and avoid the cases like the outbreak in 1993.

The health department can be said to be responsible for not warning people of the lethal E-coli strain since the outbreak in 1982. It came as a shock and a new thing for the general population when it finally hit many people in 1993. Benedict (2011) notes that “it seemed to Bill that if one of the most popular foods in America had had a health risk associated with it, consumers should have been made aware of it,” especially since departments like the CDC and the USDA had been involved in the investigation if the first case. They failed in warning the population and giving an appropriate national regulation for cooking meat to avoid outbreaks of the pathogen. The regulators and lawmakers had wrong in being too casual about E-coli despite knowing its fatality and causes.

The suppliers

The suppliers also contributed to the outbreak because they ignored their purpose of providing safe products to their customers. Even though the significant responsibility for the outbreak lies on Jack in the Box, Von, their suppler, also violated the Meat Inspection Act that requires them to supply food that is not adulterated or contaminated. They should also be liable for testing their products for any contamination and provide their customers with the report of the tests to make them aware of any meat bacteria that needs to be eliminated for the consumers to get the best quality products. The suppliers also ought to get their products from farms that rear their animals most naturally to ensure the possibility of some bacteria associated with industrial farming is limited.

At the production level in the farm

A significant entity that contributed to the outbreak was at the beginning of the food chain at the production of beef cows in industrial farms where many beef cows were raised to provide the conventional meat sold in the market. According to Benedict (2011), Dave Theno knew that the problem was caused by feeding cows corn instead of grass that they can naturally break down using their enzymes. These industrial cows are fed corn because corn is way cheaper, readily available, and fattens the cows quickly for consumption in a market where the demand for beef is high. There are also thousands of cows in the industrial dens. Changing the cows’ diets from what they are supposed to eat naturally, grass to corn, increased their risks of getting the E-coli pathogen in their intestines. In a commercial environment, when a cow’s intestine with the pathogen is cut, it can rapidly spread to the other cows and the beef that is supposed to be consumed.

The pathogen can spread quickly, especially in an industrial environment where the meat is ground in large quantities for hamburger production. Therefore, the industrialization of agriculture is one of the factors that contributed to the spread of the pathogen in beef cows, which could not be tracked to just one cow. Loads of meat ground in the same equipment also increase the chances of contamination of the beef supplied to the market. Therefore, beef production is blamed for its sizeable industrial nature that makes the cows be fed corn that increases the risk of E-coli in their intestines and uses the same equipment for the same beef before testing the beef for any bacteria.


Overall, every entity mentioned, including Jack in the Box, the health department, the supplier, and the production, contributed to the outbreak that could have been prevented in the different levels with specific measures. The role of these entities is to ensure that the consumers ultimately the quality and safe products that will not infect them with any bacteria or pathogen that can threaten their lives, and they all collectively failed in doing that either, directly like Jack in the Box or indirectly like the health department that should ensure proper laws and regulations are put in place nationally. The health department failed the people because they did not make the existence of E-coli public even though it had a dangerous and lethal strain that could cause death fast. They also failed in collaborating with the federal government to ensure that they also increased their temperature requirements for cooking meat. On the other hand, the suppliers did not test their products appropriately and provided reports to their customers showing whether the meat was contaminated. The production level is also an initial cause of the bacteria in the intestines of beef cows through what they feed them and the grinding process. The outbreak could have been prevented if the different entities had worked to keep the customers healthy and free from poisoning.


Benedict, J. (2011). Poisoned: The true story of the deadly E-coil outbreak that changed the way Americans eat. February Books.