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State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation - page 9 / 104

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Introduction

icroorganisms are very small living or non-living organisms, such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Most raw agricultural commodities, other unprocessed foods, water, and all decaying matter contain some types of microorganisms. Microorganisms occur on the skin and in intestinal tracts of people and animals. Under normal conditions, many microorganisms are beneficial and perform useful and necessary functions. In industry, for example, fungi and bacteria have important uses in manufacturing processes such as the production of organic acids. Some fungi have indispensable roles in the fermentation processes required for making wine, bread baking, cheese making, and brewing beer and other alcoholic beverages. Some types of intestinal bacteria help people and animals digest particular foods into usable nutrients. M

Certain other microorganisms, however, are harmful or dangerous. Should conditions become favorable for these microorganisms to grow, they may cause ill- nesses or diseases in people and animals, produce odors or stains, clog or damage equipment, or contaminate food and beverage products.

As part of your duties where you work, you may need to apply substances known as antimicrobial pesticides to suppress or destroy troublesome microorganisms in order to protect people from illness, prevent contamination of food or beverages, or prevent damage to equipment and other items.

INTRODUCTION

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