Journal of food protection (J FOOD PROTECT )

Publisher: International Association of Milk, Food, and Environmental Sanitarians; International Association for Food Protection, International Association for Food Protection

Description

The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is an international monthly journal in the English language published by the International Association for Food Protection (formerly IAMFES). JFP is intended for publication of research and review articles on all apects of food protection and safety.

Impact factor 1.80

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    Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
    2.18
  • Cited half-life
    8.50
  • Immediacy index
    0.31
  • Eigenfactor
    0.02
  • Article influence
    0.54
  • Website
    Journal of Food Protection website
  • Other titles
    Journal of food protection
  • ISSN
    0362-028X
  • OCLC
    2771676
  • Material type
    Periodical
  • Document type
    Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

International Association for Food Protection

  • Pre-print
    • Author cannot archive a pre-print version
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    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Classification
    ​ white

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study reviews the current literature on behavioral and environmental food safety interventions conducted in commercial and institutional food service settings. A systematic search of the published literature yielded 268 candidate articles, from which a set of 23 articles reporting intervention outcomes was retained for evaluation. A categorization of measured outcomes is reported; studies addressed multiple outcomes ranging from knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of personal hygiene and food safety to management practices and disease rates and outbreaks. This study also investigates the quality of reported research methods used to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions, using a nine-point quality index adapted by the authors. The observed scores suggest that there are opportunities to improve the design and reporting of research in the field of foodborne disease prevention as it applies to food safety interventions that target the food service industry. The aim is to aid researchers in this area to design higher quality studies and to produce clearer and more useful reports of their research. In turn, this can help to create a more complete evidence base that can be used to continually improve interventions in this domain.
    Journal of food protection 02/2015; 78(2):446-456.
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine the effect of temperature and period of postharvest storage on the microbiological quality and shelf life of raw mangrove oysters, Crassostrea brasiliana. A total of 150 dozen oysters were collected directly from the points of extraction or cultivation in southern Brazil, and in the laboratory, they were stored raw at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25°C for 1, 4, 8, 11, and 15 days. On each of these days, the oysters were subjected to microbiological analyses of aerobic mesophilic count, total coliforms, enterococci, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella. None of the tested samples under any storage condition showed contamination levels above those allowed by Brazilian legislation for E. coli, S. aureus, and Salmonella, and there was no change (P > 0.05) in the counts of these microorganisms due to the temperature and/or period of oyster storage. Counts of enterococci and total coliforms showed a tendency to increase (P < 0.05) among the different temperatures tested. Raw mangrove oysters remain in safe microbiological conditions for consumption up to 8 days after harvesting, regardless of temperature, and their shelf life may be extended to 15 days if they are stored at temperatures not exceeding 15°C.
    Journal of food protection 01/2015; 78(1):164-171.
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    ABSTRACT: Data on the presence of diarrheagenic Escherichia coli pathotypes (DEPs) in alfalfa sprouts and correlations between the presence of coliform bacteria (CB), fecal coliforms (FC), E. coli, DEPs, and Salmonella in alfalfa sprouts are not available. The presence of and correlations between CB, FC, E. coli, DEPs, and Salmonella in alfalfa sprouts were determined. One hundred sprout samples were collected from retail markets in Pachuca, Hidalgo State, Mexico. The presence of indicator bacteria and Salmonella was determined using conventional culture procedures. DEPs were identified using two multiplex PCR procedures. One hundred percent of samples were positive for CB, 90% for FC, 84% for generic E. coli, 10% for DEPs, and 4% for Salmonella. The populations of CB ranged from 6.2 up to 8.6 log CFU/g. The FC and E. coli concentrations were between, 3 and 1,100 most probable number (MPN)/g. The DEPs identified included enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC; 2%), enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC; 3%), and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC; 5%). No E. coli O157:H7 strains were detected in any STEC-positive samples. In samples positive for DEPs, the concentrations ranged from 210 to 240 MPN/g for ETEC, 28 to 1,100 MPN/g for EPEC, and 3.6 to 460 MPN/g for STEC. The Salmonella isolates identified included Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium in three samples and Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis in one. STEC and Salmonella Typhimurium were identified together in one sample. Positive correlations were observed between FC and generic E. coli, between FC and DEPs, and between generic E. coli and DEPs. Negative correlations occurred between CB and DEPs and between CB and Salmonella. Neither FC nor generic E. coli correlated with Salmonella in the sprout samples. This is the first report of ETEC, EPEC, and STEC isolated from alfalfa sprouts and the first report of correlations between different indicator groups versus DEPs and Salmonella.
    Journal of food protection 01/2015;
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    ABSTRACT: Although recent reports indicated that produce contamination with foodborne pathogens is widespread in Nigeria, the sources and magnitude of microbial contamination of fruits and vegetables on farms and in markets have not been thoroughly identified. To ascertain possible pathways of contamination, the frequency and magnitude of coliform and Escherichia coli contamination of tomatoes produced in northwest Nigeria was assessed on farms and in markets. Eight hundred twenty-six tomato fruit samples and 36 irrigation water samples were collected and assessed for fecal indicator organisms. In addition, the awareness and use of food safety practices by tomato farmers and marketers were determined. Median concentration of coliforms on all field- and market-sourced tomato fruit samples, as well as in irrigation water sources, in Kaduna, Kano, and Katsina states exceeded 1,000 most probable number (MPN) per g. Median E. coli counts from 73 (17%) of 420 field samples and 231 (57%) of 406 market tomato fruit samples exceeded 100 MPN/g. Median E. coli concentrations on tomato fruits were higher (P , 0.01) in the rainy season (2.45 Log MPN/g), when irrigation was not practiced than in the dry (1.10 Log MPN/g) and early dry (0.92 Log MPN/g) seasons. Eighteen (50%) of 36 irrigation water samples had E. coli counts higher than 126 MPN/100 ml. Median E. coli contamination on market tomato fruit samples (2.66 Log MPN/g) were higher (P , 0.001) than those from tomatoes collected on farms (0.92 Log MPN/g). Farmers and marketers were generally unaware of the relationship between food safety practices and microbial contamination on fresh produce. Good agricultural practices pertaining to food safety on farms and in local markets were seldom used. Adoption of food safety practices on-farm, during transport, and during marketing could improve the microbial quality of tomatoes available to the public in this region of the world.
    Journal of food protection 01/2015; 78(1):57-64.
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    ABSTRACT: A sample of a potentially contaminated potato dish was submitted to the laboratory for analysis for nightshade alkaloids from a county health department. The potato dish had been contaminated by the inadvertent addition of an unknown plant from the Solonaceae family. Examples of plants from this family are tomato, potato, jimson weed, belladonna, tobacco, petunia and eggplant. These alkaloids include atropine, hyoscyamine, belledonine, scopolamine, -solanine and  -chaconine, among others. These alkaloids are the main components in belladonna, jimson weed, green and/or sprouting potatoes. Samples were prepared according to the FERN toxin/poison screen (T022) and analyzed on an LC system having a HILIC analytical column with an ODS guard column, and separated by a gradient program. A gradient liquid chromatographic (LC) method for the determination of four alkaloids from the nightshade family of plants was developed. Identification and quantitation was by MRM on a Micromass Quattro Premiere mass spectrometer. The MRM’s confirmed the presence of atropine, scopolamine, -solanine, and -chaconine. These confirmed the presence of jimson weed green and/or sprouting potatoes. The method provided an ideal and easy way of determining these types of alkaloid poisons. The method should be transferable, and is easy enough to use in a public health setting. (To Be Submitted)
    Journal of food protection 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Very few studies have investigated the difference in the distribution of metal elements between rice and rice bran samples. In this study, the concentrations of 27 metal elements (Li, Be, Na, Mg, Al, K, Ca, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Ag, Cd, Cs, Ba, Tl, Pb, and U) in 56 polished rice and their corresponding bran samples were determined. A significant difference in concentrations of all elements except Ag and Cd was found between rice and bran (P 204Pb, 206Pb, 207Pb, and 208Pb) ratios also were determined. The 206Pb/207Pb and 208Pb/207Pb ratios in bran were generally higher than those in rice (P Document Type: Research Article DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-14-079 Affiliations: 1: Public Monitoring Center for Agro-Product of Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China, Key Laboratory of Testing and Evaluation for Agro-product Safety and Quality, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China, State Key Laboratory of Organic Geochemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China 2: Public Monitoring Center for Agro-Product of Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China, Key Laboratory of Testing and Evaluation for Agro-product Safety and Quality, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China;, Email: yanghui8890@163.com 3: Public Monitoring Center for Agro-Product of Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China, Key Laboratory of Testing and Evaluation for Agro-product Safety and Quality, Ministry of Agriculture, Guangzhou 510640, People's Republic of China Publication date: August 1, 2014 More about this publication? IAFP members must first sign in on the right to access full text articles of JFP First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others. Print and online subscriptions are available to Members and Institutional subscribers. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Information can be obtained by calling +1 800.369.6337; +1 515.276.3344; fax: +1 515.276.8655, E-mail: info@foodprotection.org or Web site: www.foodprotection.org Information for Authors Submit a Paper Subscribe to this Title Membership Information Information for Advertisers ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites $(document).ready(function() { var shortdescription = $(".originaldescription").text().replace(/\\&/g, '&').replace(/\\, '<').replace(/\\>/g, '>').replace(/\\t/g, ' ').replace(/\\n/g, ''); if (shortdescription.length > 350){ shortdescription = "" + shortdescription.substring(0,250) + "... more"; } $(".descriptionitem").prepend(shortdescription); $(".shortdescription a").click(function() { $(".shortdescription").hide(); $(".originaldescription").slideDown(); return false; }); }); Related content In this: publication By this: publisher In this Subject: Nutrition & Food By this author: Dai, Shouhui ; Yang, Hui ; Yang, Lan ; Wang, Fuhua ; Du, Ruiying ; Wen, Dian GA_googleFillSlot("Horizontal_banner_bottom");
    Journal of food protection 08/2014; 77(8).
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    ABSTRACT: In the last 20 years, the use of microbial reduction models has expanded significantly, including inactivation (linear and nonlinear), survival, and transfer models. However, a major constraint for model development is the impossibility to directly quantify the number of viable microorganisms below the limit of detection (LOD) for a given study. Different approaches have been used to manage this challenge, including ignoring negative plate counts, using statistical estimations, or applying data transformations. Our objective was to illustrate and quantify the effect of negative plate count data management approaches on parameter estimation for microbial reduction models. Because it is impossible to obtain accurate plate counts below the LOD, we performed simulated experiments to generate synthetic data for both log-linear and Weibull-type microbial reductions. We then applied five different, previously reported data management practices and fit log-linear and Weibull models to the resulting data. The results indicated a significant effect (α = 0.05) of the data management practices on the estimated model parameters and performance indicators. For example, when the negative plate counts were replaced by the LOD for log-linear data sets, the slope of the subsequent log-linear model was, on average, 22% smaller than for the original data, the resulting model underpredicted lethality by up to 2.0 log, and the Weibull model was erroneously selected as the most likely correct model for those data. The results demonstrate that it is important to explicitly report LODs and related data management protocols, which can significantly affect model results, interpretation, and utility. Ultimately, we recommend using only the positive plate counts to estimate model parameters for microbial reduction curves and avoiding any data value substitutions or transformations when managing negative plate counts to yield the most accurate model parameters.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A group of 37 strains representing all 13 serotypes of Listeria monocytogenes with an initial cell density of 107 CFU/ml were analyzed for their heat tolerance at 60°C for 10 min. These L. monocytogenes strains were categorized into three heat tolerance groups: low (L. monocytogenes strain from each heat tolerance group was subjected to sublethal heat stress at 48°C for 30 or 60 min, the survival of heat-stressed cells at 60°C for 10 min increased by 5 log CFU/ml (D 60°C-values nearly doubled) compared with the nonstressed control cells. Sublethal heat stress at 48°C for 60 or 90 min increased the lag phase of L. monocytogenes in tryptic soy broth supplemented with 0.6% yeast extract at room temperature by 3 to 5 h compared with nonstressed control cells. The heat stress adaptation in L. monocytogenes was reversed after 2 h at room temperature but was maintained for up to 24 h at 4°C. Our results indicate a high diversity in heat tolerance among strains of L. monocytogenes, and once acquired this heat stress adaptation persists after cooling, which should be taken into account while conducting risk analyses for this pathogen.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a common mycotoxin produced by Fusarium sp. in cereals and foods. Ingestion of contaminated foodstuffs can cause digestive disorders in various animals. Many researchers focus on its toxicity and the pathological damage and absorptive function in the intestines. However, the effect of DON on gastric function is still unclear. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the impact of DON on gastric secretion. Rats were gavaged with DON at the dose of 0, 1, 5, and 25 mg/kg of body weight (bw). Gastric fluids were gathered by pylorus ligation 0.5 h after DON exposure. The results indicate that the volume of gastric fluid decreased by 25, 51, and 61% compared with the control, respectively. The pH increased to 3.2, 3.81, and 6.65 in the 1, 5, and 25 mg/kg bw DON group, compared with the control (1.9). To examine the mucosal injuries, the stomach tissues were made into hematoxylin and eosin slides. Histopathology observations suggest that no mucosal lesions were observed until DON exposure at 25 mg/kg bw. Additionally, the gastrin secretion in the fluids and mRNA expression in tissues were determined by the radioimmunoassay and real-time PCR assay, respectively. The results indicated that both significantly decreased in DON-exposed rats compared with the control. Taken together, DON exposure reduced gastric secretion in rats. Low gastrin secretion and mRNA expression play a major role, unless mucosal lesions by high DON exposure are present.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014; 77(8).
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    ABSTRACT: Antimicrobial resistance in bacteria associated with food and water is a global concern. To survey the risk, 312 Escherichia coli isolates from shrimp farms and markets in Thailand were examined for susceptibility to 10 antimicrobials. The results showed that 17.6% of isolates (55 of 312) were resistant to at least one of the tested drugs, and high resistance rates were observed to tetracycline (14.4%; 45 of 312), ampicillin (8.0%; 25 of 312), and trimethroprim (6.7%; 21 of 312); 29.1% (16 of 55) were multidrug resistant. PCR assay of the tet (A), tet (B), tet (C), tet (D), tet (E), and tet (G) genes detected one or more of these genes in 47 of the 55 resistant isolates. Among these genes, tet (A) (69.1%; 38 of 55) was the most common followed by tet (B) (56.4%; 31 of 55) and tet (C) (3.6%; 2 of 55). The resistant isolates were further investigated for class 1 integrons. Of the 55 resistant isolates, 16 carried class 1 integrons and 7 carried gene cassettes encoding trimethoprim resistance (dfrA12 or dfrA17) and aminoglycosides resistance (aadA2 or aadA5). Two class 1 integrons, In54 (dfrA17-aadA5) and In27 (dfrA12-orfF-aadA2), were found in four and three isolates, respectively. These results indicate a risk of drug-resistant E. coli contamination in shrimp farms and selling places. The occurrence of multidrug-resistant E. coli carrying tet genes and class 1 integrons indicates an urgent need to monitor the emergence of drug-resistant E. coli to control the dissemination of drug-resistant strains and the further spread of resistance genes to other pathogenic bacteria.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Data are lacking on the temperature changes of food during transport without the use of refrigerated trucks. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of several insulated and noninsulated containers with or without frozen gel packs to keep perishable and refrigerated foods within the temperature safe zone in relationship to duration of transport. The study was designed to duplicate the practices exhibited by customers purchasing perishable food products from a cash-and-carry business. Approximately 40 perishable food items were evaluated. Four types of containers were tested: a mylar foil bag, a commercial insulated bag, a generic insulated bag, and a commercial insulated blanket. Mixed foods were placed into these containers with or without frozen gel packs, transported in unrefrigerated vehicles, and monitored for 4 h for temperature changes. Two environmental temperatures, room temperature of 21.1°C and a stress temperature of 37.8°C, were evaluated. The internal temperature and surface temperature of the food products in these containers increased slowly but remained well below the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Code requirements. The various containers were similar in their ability to retain coolness. The presence of frozen gel packs dramatically enhanced the cold-holding capacity of the containers. The temperature of foods increased more rapidly when stressed in a heated environment. The containers tested used with the frozen gel packs can keep the surface and internal temperatures of various perishable foods (starting at 4.4°C or less) within the Food Code recommendation of under 21.1°C for 4 h. Cash-and-carry businesses should strongly encourage their retail customers to utilize these containers with frozen gel packs to safely transport perishable foods.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014; 77(8).
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research has shown that mild milk thermization treatments routinely used in traditional Greek cheese production are efficient to inactivate Listeria monocytogenes and other pathogenic or undesirable bacteria, but they also inactivate a great part of the autochthonous antagonistic microbiota of raw milk. Therefore, in this study, the antilisterial activity of raw or thermized (63°C, 30 s) milk in the presence or absence of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris M104, a wild, novel, nisin A–producing (Nis-A+) raw milk isolate, was assessed. Bulk milk samples were taken from a local cheese plant before or after thermization and were inoculated with a five-strain cocktail of L. monocytogenes (approximately 4 log CFU/ml) or with the cocktail, as above, plus the Nis-A+ strain (approximately 6 log CFU/ml) as a bioprotective culture. Heat-sterilized (121°C, 5 min) raw milk inoculated with L. monocytogenes was used as a control treatment. All milk samples were incubated at 37°C for 6 h and then at 18°C for an additional 66 h. L. monocytogenes grew abundantly (>8 log CFU/ml) in heat-sterilized milk, whereas its growth was completely inhibited in all raw milk samples. Conversely, in thermized milk, L. monocytogenes increased by 2 log CFU/ml in the absence of strain M104, whereas its growth was completely inhibited in the presence of strain M104. Furthermore, nisin activity was detected only in milk samples inoculated with strain M104. Thus, postthermal supplementation of thermized bulk milk with bioprotective L. lactis subsp. cremoris cultures replaces the natural antilisterial activity of raw milk reduced by thermization.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014; 77(8).
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    ABSTRACT: An automated dead-end (single pass, no recirculation) ultrafiltration device, the Portable Multi-use Automated Concentration System (PMACS), was evaluated as a means to concentrate Escherichia coli O157:H7 from 40 liters of simulated commercial lettuce wash water. The assessment included generating, sieving, and concentrating sanitizer-free lettuce wash water, either uninoculated or inoculated with green fluorescent protein–transformed E. coli O157:H7 at a high (1.00 log CFU/ml) or low (–1.00 log CFU/ml) concentration. Cells collected within the filters were recovered in approximately 400 ml of buffer to create lettuce wash retentates. The extent of concentration was determined by viable plate counts using a medium selective for the transformed E. coli O157:H7. The samples were qualitatively analyzed for E. coli O157:H7 according to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration Bacteriological Analytical Manual enrichment method and with an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. This concentration method was then evaluated in a pilot-scale production line at Michigan State University using chlorinated (100, 30, and 10 ppm of available chlorine) lettuce wash water. The total PMACS processing times were 82 ± 6 and 65 ± 5 min for sanitizer-free and chlorinated washes, respectively. Overall, E. coli O157:H7 populations were approximately 2 log higher in retentates than in unconcentrated lettuce wash samples. The higher E. coli O157:H7 levels in the retentates enabled cultural and electrochemiluminescence immunoassay detection in some samples when the corresponding lettuce wash samples were negative. When combined with standard and rapid detection methods, the PMACS concentration method may provide a means to enhance pathogen monitoring of produce wash water.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Building a comprehensive knowledge base of the association of Listeria monocytogenes isolates across national food chains, clinical cases, and environments can play a key role in helping control the incidence of listeriosis. Today, many food chains cross national borders and are often shared by neighboring countries. This study characterized L. monocytogenes isolated from food samples in Northern Ireland and investigated whether similarities in the population and associations of L. monocytogenes strains exist in the neighboring countries of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which together constitute the island of Ireland. Listeria monocytogenes isolates were characterized using serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis subtyping. This data was then interrogated against existing data for the Republic of Ireland, to identify any shared trends in the ecology and contamination patterns of L. monocytogenes strains. The results of this study indicated that contaminated food products often shared L. monocytogenes strains with other products. A total of six different strain subtypes were identified among 18 contaminated products. Overall strain diversity in positive samples was low, with no sample yielding more than one L. monocytogenes strain, as determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis subtyping. When comparisons against an Irish strain database were performed, many related strain subtypes were also shared by a variety of sources in the Republic of Ireland. This study highlights the potential benefits that a whole-island surveillance approach may present to food safety and public health in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Foods grown in organic production systems have been described as representing an increased risk to public health compared with foods from conventional production. Leafy vegetables (spinach, romaine lettuce, and green sesame leaves) grown in organic and conventional systems were collected from various areas in Korea and examined using standard culture methods to compare the microbiological quality of the produce grown in the two agricultural systems. The 354 samples of these leafy vegetables were analyzed for levels of indicator bacteria (aerobic bacteria, coliforms, and Escherichia coli) and the prevalence of the pathogens Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, and Salmonella. Aerobic bacteria and coliforms were detected in all vegetable types, but nonpathogenic E. coli was below the limit of detection in all samples. B. cereus was the most prevalent pathogen, found on 7 (11.1%) of the 63 organic spinach samples. The prevalence of S. aureus was highest in organic sesame leaves; it was found on 5 (8.0%) of the 63 samples. The prevalence of L. monocytogenes was highest on organic romaine lettuce and spinach; it was found in 4 (6.4%) of 63 samples of each type of vegetable. E. coli O157:H7 found on only 1 (1.58%) of 55 conventional spinach samples. These results suggest that farming type at most only slightly affects the hygienic quality of leafy vegetables, and no effect was found for sample collection area. Salmonella was not isolated from any of the conventional or organic leafy vegetables. These results do not support the hypothesis that organic produce poses a substantially greater risk of pathogen contamination than does conventional produce.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Shellfish have been implicated in norovirus (NoV) infection outbreaks worldwide. This study presents data obtained from various batches of shellfish and fishery products from a Belgian seafood company over a 6-month period. For the intact shellfish (oysters, mussels, and clams), 21 of 65 samples from 12 of 34 batches were positive for NoVs; 9 samples contained quantitative NoV levels at 3,300 to 14,300 genomic copies per g. For the semiprocessed fishery products (scallops and common sole rolls with scallop fragments), 29 of 36 samples from all eight batches were positive for NoVs; 17 samples contained quantitative NoV levels at 200 to 1,800 copies per g. This convenience study demonstrated the performance and robustness of the reverse transcription quantitative PCR detection and interpretation method and the added value of NoV testing in the framework of periodic control of seafood products bought internationally and distributed by a Belgian seafood processing company to Belgian food markets.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014; 77(8).
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    ABSTRACT: Fish processing plants still face microbial food safety–related product rejections and the associated economic losses, although they implement legislation, with well-established quality assurance guidelines and standards. We assessed the microbial performance of core control and assurance activities of fish exporting processors to offer suggestions for improvement using a case study. A microbiological assessment scheme was used to systematically analyze microbial counts in six selected critical sampling locations (CSLs). Nine small-, medium- and large-sized companies implementing current food safety management systems (FSMS) were studied. Samples were collected three times on each occasion (n = 324). Microbial indicators representing food safety, plant and personnel hygiene, and overall microbiological performance were analyzed. Microbiological distribution and safety profile levels for the CSLs were calculated. Performance of core control and assurance activities of the FSMS was also diagnosed using an FSMS diagnostic instrument. Final fish products from 67% of the companies were within the legally accepted microbiological limits. Salmonella was absent in all CSLs. Hands or gloves of workers from the majority of companies were highly contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus at levels above the recommended limits. Large-sized companies performed better in Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli, and S. aureus than medium- and small-sized ones in a majority of the CSLs, including receipt of raw fish material, heading and gutting, and the condition of the fish processing tables and facilities before cleaning and sanitation. Fish products of 33% (3 of 9) of the companies and handling surfaces of 22% (2 of 9) of the companies showed high variability in Enterobacteriaceae counts. High variability in total viable counts and Enterobacteriaceae was noted on fish products and handling surfaces. Specific recommendations were made in core control and assurance activities associated with sampling locations showing poor performance.
    Journal of food protection 08/2014;