Article

Assessment of the Potential for Cross Contamination of Food Products by Reusable Shopping Bags

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Most foodborne illnesses are believed to originate in the home. Reuse of bags creates an opportunity for cross contamination of foods. The purpose of this study was to assess the potential for cross contamination of food products from reusable bags used to carry groceries. Reusable bags were collected at random from consumers as they entered grocery stores in California and Arizona. In interviews it was found that reusable bags are seldom if ever washed and often used for multiple purposes. Large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags and coliform bacteria in half. Escherichia coli were identified in 12 % of the bags and a wide range of enteric bacteria, including several opportunistic pathogens. When meat juices were added to bags and stored in the trunks of cars for two hours the number of bacteria increased 10-fold indicating the potential for bacterial growth in the bags. Hand or machine washing was found to reduce the bacteria in bags by>99.9%. These results indicate that reusable bags can play a significant role in the cross contamination of foods if not properly washed on a regular basis. It is recommended that the public needs to be educated about the proper care of reusable bags by printed instructions on the bags or through public service announcements NOTE: The authors would like to acknowledge and thank the American Chemistry Council for providing

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Most importantly perhaps, only a small number of countries has attempted to estimate the public health impact of foodborne risks on a national level [14-16, 20-22, 102-106], a process that is essential before resolving whether these risks can be tolerated or need to be reduced and deciding on an ALOP [80]. It seems that despite the availability of some practical guidelines on this topic [107], lack of available data and harmonization in methodologies are among the major challenges for such studies on the burden of foodborne diseases [108]. ...
... Percentage foodborne: All of the helminthic parasites included in this category of diseases [75] have been reported to be transmitted through food [64,85,89,[104][105][106][107][108][109]. However, it is not possible to make a precise estimate of the actual percentage of cases that are transmitted through food since this information is not available for many of the sub-categories of diseases included under this classification while the relative importance of each in this BTL code is not very clear. ...
... For the ALOP estimated top-down, by far the most important input is the underreporting factor (0.91), followed by the percentage of cases attributed to chicken meat consumption top-down, the most important limitation is the fact that it was calculated simplifying reality by assuming that undercooking and two specific cross-contamination pathways would be the only events impacting on pathogen levels at consumption. Obviously, more sources of cross-contamination may have an impact, such as the external packaging of raw meat [106], the water tap [107] or reusable shopping bags [108]. Also, ready-to-eat items other than salad may be involved in cross-contamination in households at the point of consumption. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Foodborne illnesses are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide and are therefore important to manage for the protection of public health. In the course of the last half century, when it comes to prioritizing resources for their management, there has been a gradual shift of focus from the hazards that cause the illnesses (microorganisms, chemical and physical agents) to the actual risk that these hazards pose to the population (probability and severity of adverse health effects in relation to hazards in food) and their impact on public health. To accommodate these different schools of thought, new health metrics could be operationalized (DALY, Disability Adjusted Life Year) but also new benchmarks were created for the control of foodborne hazards in food supply chains (ALOP, Appropriate Level of Protection; FSO, Food Safety Objective). These risk-based metrics have been proposed by international organizations as a means of establishing a link between governmental public health policy and the management of hazards in the food supply chain. The aim of this thesis was to develop four different case studies on the operationalization of these risk-based metrics (DALY, ALOP, FSO). Cases were selected so as to deal with different microbial hazards, food products and population groups as well as addressing a number of different real life settings faced by competent authorities in various countries. The first case study used a range of publicly available data to rank all foodborne risks in Greece on the basis of DALYs, in order to set national priorities for food safety management. The use of the results of this study for setting ALOPs is part of the general discussion of the thesis. The second case study dealt with setting of ALOP and FSO targets for Listeria monocytogenes in deli meats in the Netherlands. Here the focus was on a severe, low incidence disease, mainly relevant for susceptible subpopulations, usually associated with medium to high doses of the pathogen in contaminated products consumed on a regular basis by the vast majority of the Dutch population. The third case study concerned the implementation of risk-based targets for Salmonella in poultry meat in the Netherlands and in 22 other EU Member States. Here the focus was on a mostly mild but, on occasion, severe disease, due to longer term sequelae, usually associated with ingestion of low doses of the pathogen through contaminated or undercooked products consumed frequently by the vast majority of the European population. The last case study addressed the application of the targets for Clostridium perfringens in Cornish pasties in the United Kingdom. Here the focus was on a mostly self-limiting, rarely fatal illness, usually associated with very high doses of the pathogen in a Protected Geographical Indication product, infrequently consumed by the British population. The developed case studies showed that the operationalization of the new metrics is feasible and valuable in creating insight and for making food safety more transparent and quantifiable despite data scarcities, inherent uncertainty and variability in the risk estimates and the need for decisions to be made on the interpretation of the metric definitions and their communication to the public.
... Williams et al. [84] also analyzed the contamination of some used reusable bags. Bacteria were found in 99% and coliform bacteria were detected in 51% of the bags tested, with generic Escherichia coli in 8%. ...
... Washing reduces the bacteria in bags by >99.9%. However, interviewers indicated that only 3% regularly clean their bags [84]. Another option to reduce the problem is to use separate bags for different classes of products, such as fruits and vegetables, meats, and ready-to-eat foods [83]. ...
... In contrast, single-use plastic bags [85], first-use reusable bags [84,85], and new cloth reusable bags [84] showed no evidence of bacteria, depicting that the first option is more hygienic than reusable bags. ...
Article
Full-text available
Since the beginning of the first cases of the new coronavirus, opinions and laws on the use of plastic materials have been questioned around the world. Their importance in the manufacture of hospital devices and personal protective equipment (PPE) is unquestionable, as they contribute largely to the reduction of the virus spread, helping health systems from all edges of the world and, most importantly, saving lives. However, the same material that is a protector, becomes a polluter when inadequately disposed of in the environment, generating or worsening socio-environmental problems, such as pollution of water bodies by plastic. A critical overview of the role of plastic during the COVID-19 pandemic is provided in this paper. A future panorama is attempted to be outlined. The real possibility of the virus spread from the use of plastic is discussed, as well as the recycling of plastic during the pandemic, correlating its use with problems that it may cause.
... A relatively new cross-contamination vehicle in the U.S. that has the potential to pose a significant risk of bacterial cross contamination is reusable grocery bags. One in three consumers report using these bags for more than just groceries [92] —they double as gym bags, toy bags, and other uses. This is a concern given that 75% of consumers use these same bags for carrying raw meat and other foods [92]. ...
... One in three consumers report using these bags for more than just groceries [92] —they double as gym bags, toy bags, and other uses. This is a concern given that 75% of consumers use these same bags for carrying raw meat and other foods [92]. Large numbers of bacteria (including fecal coliforms) were found in every reusable bag collected from consumers outside a grocery store, but none were found in new bags or traditional plastic bags [92]. ...
... This is a concern given that 75% of consumers use these same bags for carrying raw meat and other foods [92]. Large numbers of bacteria (including fecal coliforms) were found in every reusable bag collected from consumers outside a grocery store, but none were found in new bags or traditional plastic bags [92]. Despite the effectiveness of removing pathogens by washing reusable grocery bags, only 3% of consumers reported regularly washing them [92]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Although foodborne illness is preventable, more than 56,000 people per year become ill in the U.S., creating high economic costs, loss of productivity and reduced quality of life for many. Experts agree that the home is the primary location where foodborne outbreaks occur; however, many consumers do not believe the home to be a risky place. Health care professionals need to be aware of consumers' food safety attitudes and behaviors in the home and deliver tailored food safety interventions that are theory-based. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to synthesize/summarize the food safety literature by examining the following: consumers' perceptions and attitudes towards food safety and their susceptibility to foodborne illness in the home, work, and school; common risky food safety practices and barriers to handling food safely; and the application of theory-based food safety interventions. Findings will help healthcare professionals become more aware of consumers' food safety attitudes and behaviors and serve to inform future food safety interventions.
... This suggests lack of public awareness about the direct and long-term impacts of these wastes on human health. Recent research findings also indicated that reusable plastic bags posed serious human health problems (Cliver, 2006;Maule, 2000;Gerba, 2010). The studies showed that reusable plastic bags can become habitats for pathogenic microorganism. ...
... The studies showed that reusable plastic bags can become habitats for pathogenic microorganism. For instance, Gerba et al. (2010) reported that reuse of plastic bags to carry groceries could cause a significant risk of cross contamination of food by pathogenic bacteria. Their survey revealed the presence of a large number of bacteria in almost all the tested reused bags and coliform bacteria in half of them. ...
... Their survey revealed the presence of a large number of bacteria in almost all the tested reused bags and coliform bacteria in half of them. E. coli has also been identified in 12% of the reused bags and a wide range of enteric bacteria including several opportunistic pathogens from the reused plastic bags (Gerba et al., 2010). These facts and results of the present study suggest the need of an urgent action to educate the community about human health risk of plastic bags. ...
Article
Full-text available
Plastic bag wastes pose serious environmental pollutions and health problems in humans and animals. The situation is worsened in economically disadvantaged countries like Ethiopia. The objective of this survey was to assess usage of plastic bags and their environmental impacts in Jimma City of Ethiopia. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 230 randomly selected respondents. The results indicated that the larger proportion (176, 76.52%) of the respondents used plastic bags more frequently than any other plastic products regardless of their age, occupation, and economic and educational status. Low price (159, 69.13%) and easy availability (152, 66.08%) were the main reasons for the widespread utilization of these products. Among the practices used for disposal of plastic bag wastes, open dumping to surrounding areas (137, 59.56%) was a practice widely used by almost all the residents of the city. Some of the major problems were animal death (167, 72.60%), blockage of sewage lines (162, 70.43%), deterioration of natural beauty of an environment (144, 62.60%) and human health problems (119, 51.73%). The findings of the present study also indicated that the trend of utilization of plastic bags is increasing from time to time in spite of a good deal of awareness of the residents about the adverse effects of these products. In order to reduce the problems associated with plastic bag wastes, it is recommended to educate the public (1) not to use plastic bags, and (2) to use eco-friendly alternative materials (bags) made from clothes, natural fibers and paper. City level legislation is also highly recommended against indiscriminate use and disposal of plastic bag wastes as well as to end free distribution of plastic bags by retailers.
... According to Tiruneh and Yesuwork, [25] and Ramaswamy and Sharma,[22] domestic animals that were most affected were ruminants (cattle, sheep and goats) and dogs. Further research findings have also indicated that reusable plastic bags posed serious human health problems [26][27][28]. The studies showed that reusable plastic bags can become habitats for pathogenic microorganism. ...
... The studies showed that reusable plastic bags can become habitats for pathogenic microorganism. Gerba et al., [28] for instance reported that reuse of plastic bags to carry groceries could cause a significant risk of cross contamination of food by pathogenic bacteria such as coliform and E. coli. ...
... It is not impacts on only animal that have been well established but impacts on humans as well. In a report reuse of plastic bags can cause contamination of food by microorganism [26][27][28]. ...
... Reusable plastic bags for transport of groceries from the store to the consumer's home have become popular in recent years (Williams, Gerba, Maxwell, & Si, 2011). In Portugal, this trend became more noticeable from February 2015, since plastic bags began to be taxed (Martinho, Balaia, & Pires, 2017). ...
... Understanding the importance of using different bags for different purposes is an important topic for consumers. However, it was reported that one in three consumers used these bags for more than just groceries, such as gym bags, toy bags, among other uses and that 75% of consumers use these same bags for carrying raw meat and other foods (Williams et al., 2011). In addition, the same authors stated that reusable bags, if not properly washed, could play a role in the cross-contamination of foods. ...
... Our results are in accordance with some of the few studies on the subject. Williams et al. (2011) found high numbers of bacteria (including fecal coliforms) in every reusable bag collected from consumers outside a grocery store. Summerbell (2009) tested 49 "used" reusable shopping bags and found that the majority had some bacterial counts, 30% elevated bacterial counts and 12% unacceptable coliform counts. ...
Article
Nowadays, with so many concerns for the environment, the use of reusable plastic bags is becoming routine, instead of the use of polluting single-use plastic bags. However, this is controversial in terms of food safety, since consumers transport many different foods, which could contaminate their bags and pose a risk to their health due to cross-contamination. This study aimed to detect or enumerate several indicators/pathogens from 30 used reusable plastic (polypropylene) bags and, to evaluate their antibiotic resistance profiles after identification by 16s rRNA of each isolated microorganism. Several genera of Enterobacteriaceae, coagulase-negative staphylococci and also Listeria monocytogenes were found in the reusable plastic bags analyzed. In general, high percentages of antibiotics resistance were found, highlighting the elevated occurrence of multi-resistant isolates of coagulase-negative staphylococci and Enterobacteriaceae. This study demonstrates the level and variety of microbial contamination of some used reusable plastic bags. No correlation was found between microbial levels and the visual appearance of each bag demonstrating that appearance is not a reliable datum about the bag contamination. We believe that this study could help the competent authorities taking measures to alert consumers to good food safety practices, not only in their kitchens, but also in the bags that carry their food.
... Less evidence is available about the relationship between contaminated fomites and bacterialborne outbreaks (Varma et al., 2003). One laboratory study demonstrated the potential for bacterial contamination of food products after contact with reusable shopping bags (Williams, Gerba, Maxwell, & Sinclair, 2011), but to date no bacterial-borne outbreaks have been attributed to contaminated fomites. Even so, we assert it is important to explore the survival of AGE-associated bacteria on packaging surfaces (as fomites), particularly for bacterial pathogens with a very low-infectious dose [e.g., Escherichia coli O157:H7 (< 10-100 cells) and Listeria monocytogenes (< 1000 cells)]. ...
... Several microbiological studies have been conducted on plastic surfaces (e.g., cutting boards and processing line conveyor belts) (Ak, Cliver, & Kaspar, 1994;Bale, Bennett, Beringer, & Hinton, 1993;Iibuchi, Hara-Kudo, Hasegawa, & Kumagai, 2010;Rossi, Scapin, & Tondo, 2013;Somers & Wong, 2004) but none studied the exterior surface of packaging materials. One study by Williams et al. (2011) did examine the isolation and identification of bacteria on reusable grocery bags, which could have direct contact with RTE foods. Moreover, the resin grades used to make plastic surfaces, such as cutting boards, could be different from those used for the exterior of a food package. ...
... Less evidence is available about the relationship between contaminated fomites and bacterialborne outbreaks (Varma et al., 2003). One laboratory study demonstrated the potential for bacterial contamination of food products after contact with reusable shopping bags (Williams, Gerba, Maxwell, & Sinclair, 2011), but to date no bacterial-borne outbreaks have been attributed to contaminated fomites. Even so, we assert it is important to explore the survival of AGE-associated bacteria on packaging surfaces (as fomites), particularly for bacterial pathogens with a very low-infectious dose [e.g., Escherichia coli O157:H7 (< 10-100 cells) and Listeria monocytogenes (< 1000 cells)]. ...
... Several microbiological studies have been conducted on plastic surfaces (e.g., cutting boards and processing line conveyor belts) (Ak, Cliver, & Kaspar, 1994;Bale, Bennett, Beringer, & Hinton, 1993;Iibuchi, Hara-Kudo, Hasegawa, & Kumagai, 2010;Rossi, Scapin, & Tondo, 2013;Somers & Wong, 2004) but none studied the exterior surface of packaging materials. One study by Williams et al. (2011) did examine the isolation and identification of bacteria on reusable grocery bags, which could have direct contact with RTE foods. Moreover, the resin grades used to make plastic surfaces, such as cutting boards, could be different from those used for the exterior of a food package. ...
... The disruption caused by COVID -19 has turned back the clock to restore widespread use of single-use plastic bags due to public health concerns. Public opinion about sanitary concerns amid cross-contamination has forced rollbacks and pushbacks of policies against single-use plastic bags in many parts of the United States (Sinclair et al., 2018;Williams et al., 2011). Despite definitive evidence of their sanitary superiority relative to reusable shopping bags, the promotion of disposable bags by local governments as an act of caution could propagate intense environmental liability. ...
... Despite definitive evidence of their sanitary superiority relative to reusable shopping bags, the promotion of disposable bags by local governments as an act of caution could propagate intense environmental liability. Consequently, Williams et al. advocated the practice of better bag sanitation after every use which could be even carried over into post-pandemic life (Williams et al., 2011). While rapid disposal of single-use products is often cited as beneficial to staff and consumer health, the resulting surge in waste generation adds up to the challenges faced by the already-strained waste management system. ...
Article
The crisis brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic has altered global waste generation dynamics and therefore has necessitated special attention. The unexpected fluctuations in waste composition and quantity also require a dynamic response from policymakers. This study highlights the challenges faced by the solid waste management sector during the pandemic and the underlying opportunities to fill existing loopholes in the system. The study presents specific cases for biomedical waste, plastic waste, and food waste management - all of which have been a major cause of concern during this crisis. Further, without active citizen participation and cooperation, commingled virus-laden biomedical waste with the regular solid waste stream pose significant negative health and safety issues to sanitation workers. Single-use plastic usage is set to bounce back due to growing concerns of hygiene, particularly from products used for personal protection and healthcare purposes. It is expected that household food waste generation may reduce due to increased conscious buying of more non-perishable items during lockdown and due to concerns of food shortage. However, there is a chance of increase in food waste from the broken supply chains such as food items getting stuck on road due to restriction in vehicle movements, lack of workers in the warehouse for handling the food products, etc. The study also stresses the need for building localized resilient supply chains to counter such situations during future pandemics. While offering innovative solutions to existing waste management challenges, the study also suggests some key recommendations to the policymakers to help handle probable future pandemics if any holistically.
... The disruption caused by COVID -19 has turned back the clock to restore widespread use of single-use plastic bags due to public health concerns. Public opinion about sanitary concerns amid cross-contamination has forced rollbacks and pushbacks of policies against single-use plastic bags in many parts of the United States (Sinclair et al., 2018;Williams et al., 2011). Despite definitive evidence of their sanitary superiority relative to reusable shopping bags, the promotion of disposable bags by local governments as an act of caution could propagate intense environmental liability. ...
... Despite definitive evidence of their sanitary superiority relative to reusable shopping bags, the promotion of disposable bags by local governments as an act of caution could propagate intense environmental liability. Consequently, Williams et al. advocated the practice of better bag sanitation after every use which could be even carried over into post-pandemic life (Williams et al., 2011). While rapid disposal of single-use products is often cited as beneficial to staff and consumer health, the resulting surge in waste generation adds up to the challenges faced by the already-strained waste management system. ...
Article
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has enhanced the complexities of plastic waste management. Our improved, hyper-hygienic way of life in the fear of transmission has conveniently shifted our behavioral patterns like the use of PPE (Personal protective equipment), increased demand for plastic-packaged food and groceries, and the use of disposable utensils. The inadequacies and inefficiencies of our current waste management system to deal with our increased dependence on plastic could aggravate its mismanagement and leakage into the environment, thus triggering an environmental crisis. Mandating scientific sterilization and the use of sealed bags for safe disposal of contaminated plastic wastes should be an immediate priority to reduce the risk of transmission to sanitation workers. Investments in circular technologies like feedstock recycling along with improving the infrastructure and environmental viability of existing techniques could be the key to dealing with the plastic waste fluxes during a crisis. Transition towards environmentally friendly materials like bioplastics and harboring new sustainable technologies would be crucial to fighting future pandemics. Although the rollbacks and relaxation of single-use plastic bans may be temporary, their likely implications on the consumer perception could hinder our long-term goals of transitioning towards a circular economy. Likewise, any delay in building international willingness and participation to curb any form of pollution through summits and agendas may also delay its implementation. Reduction in plastic pollution and inclusive, sustainable plastic waste management can be achieved by restructuring our policies to instill individual behavioral as well as social, institutional changes. Incentivizing measures that encourage circularity and sustainable practices, public-private investments in research and infrastructure would help in bringing the aforementioned changes. Individual responsibility, corporate action, and government policy are all necessary to keep us from transiting from one disaster to another.
... Regarding the FSO estimated top-down, the most important limitation is the fact that it was calculated simplifying reality by assuming that undercooking and two specific cross-contamination pathways would be the only events impacting on pathogen levels at consumption. Obviously , more sources of cross-contamination may have an impact, such as the external packaging of raw meat (Burgess et al., 2005), the water tap (Chen et al., 2001) or reusable shopping bags (Gerba et al., 2011). Also, ready-to-eat items other than salad may be involved in cross-contamination in households at the point of consumption. ...
... Finally, collecting more quantitative data where there is low pathogen concentration, is another area where more work is needed to improve the precision of model predictions (Barron et al., 2012). While working through our case-study, a lack of information was observed for modelling additional cross-contamination pathways only recently acknowledged as potentially significant such as external packaging of meat and reusable shopping bags (Burgess et al., 2005; Gerba et al., 2011). To model these additional pathways new data related with consumer practices and the transfer of microorganisms between surfaces would be necessary. ...
... Other venues where cross-contamination can occur and that are often overlooked are markets with RTE goods. Even when all products sold at these markets are not considered RTE, raw products can be stored near RTE foods or foods often consumed raw in a market or within a consumer's bag or cart as occurs at farmers' markets and grocery stores (39,40,93,98). The number of farmers' markets increased by .300% ...
... Donelan et al. (26) found that produce was the food most often directly touched by raw poultry in a shopping cart, but dry goods and refrigerated goods also were frequently touched. Because produce is often eaten raw or after minimal processing, cross-contamination of produce could result in more serious consequences, such as foodborne illness, than cross-contamination of products such as rice that will be cooked before consumption (93). The shopping cart is also at risk for cross-contamination because raw products and contaminated hands come into direct contact with the cart (Table 3) (27). ...
Article
Cross-contamination of raw food to other surfaces, hands, and foods is a serious issue in food service. With individuals eating more meals away from home, contracting a foodborne illness from a food service establishment is an increasing concern. However, most studies have concentrated on hands or food contact surfaces and neglected atypical and unusual surfaces (surfaces that are not typically identified as a source of cross-contamination) and venues. This review was conducted to identify atypically cross-contaminated surfaces and atypical venues where cross-contamination could occur that have not been examined thoroughly in the literature. Most surfaces that could be at risk for cross-contamination are frequently touched, are rarely cleaned and sanitized, and can support the persistence and/or growth of foodborne pathogens. These surfaces include menus, spice and condiment containers, aprons and coveralls, mobile devices and tablets, and money. Venues that are explored, such as temporary events, mobile vendors, and markets, are usually limited in space or infrastructure, have low compliance with proper hand washing, and provide the opportunity for raw and ready-to-eat foods to come into contact with one another. These factors create an environment in which cross-contamination can occur and potentially impact food safety. A more comprehensive cleaning and sanitizing regime encompassing these surfaces and venues could help mitigate cross-contamination. This review highlights key surfaces and venues that have the potential to be cross-contaminated and have been underestimated or not fully investigated. These knowledge gaps indicate where further work is needed to fully understand the role of these surfaces and venues in cross-contamination and how it can be prevented. HIGHLIGHTS
... Ross et al. [60] found that single use plastic bags resulted in more jobs compared to reusable variants, which require fewer bags to be manufactured. Other potential consequences include higher environmental impacts of alternative materials such as paper or cotton unless they are reused many times [60,62,63], cross contamination of food with bacteria such as Escherichia coli and other pathogens in the case of replacing single use plastic bags with reusable bags [266], and increased food waste [267], which is currently at 30% for cereals, 40-50% for root crops, fruits, and vegetables, 20% for oilseeds, 30% for meat and dairy, and 30% for fish [268]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Cumulative plastic production worldwide skyrocketed from about 2 million tonnes in 1950 to 8.3 billion tonnes in 2015, with 6.3 billion tonnes (76%) ending up as waste. Of that waste, 79% is either in landfills or the environment. The purpose of the review is to establish the current global status quo in the plastics industry and assess the sustainability of some bio-based biodegradable plastics. This integrative and consolidated review thus builds on previous studies that have focused either on one or a few of the aspects considered in this paper. Three broad items to strongly consider are: Biodegradable plastics and other alternatives are not always environmentally superior to fossil-based plastics; less investment has been made in plastic waste management than in plastics production; and there is no single solution to plastic waste management. Some strategies to push for include: increasing recycling rates, reclaiming plastic waste from the environment, and bans or using alternatives, which can lessen the negative impacts of fossil-based plastics. However, each one has its own challenges, and country-specific scientific evidence is necessary to justify any suggested solutions. In conclusion, governments from all countries and stakeholders should work to strengthen waste management infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries while extended producer responsibility (EPR) and deposit refund schemes (DPRs) are important add-ons to consider in plastic waste management, as they have been found to be effective in Australia, France, Germany, and Ecuador.
... bags can tear easily under moderate weight and are not waterproof (Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund, 2020), while reusable bags may pose contamination risks when reused for multiple purposes and seldom washed (Williams et al., 2011). ...
Research
Full-text available
Indonesia’s online food delivery sector is expected to grow by 11.5% annually from 2020 to 2024. Food sales represented 27.85% of all e-commerce sales in 2018, making it the largest category in e-commerce. Online food delivery expands choice and convenience for consumers. It also provides employment and economic opportunities for sellers and deliverers. However, the disconnect between consumers and sellers as a result of third-party delivery services creates unique food safety challenges. Responsibility for food safety standards, pre-market certification, and post-market supervision lie with the National Agency of Drug and Food Control (NA-DFC), the Ministry of Health, and city/district governments. A complicated registration process keeps smaller enterprises from formalizing their businesses before entering the market, while the lack of capacity and coordination among government institutions hinders effective post-market supervision. This carries real consequences—half of the unregistered food in Indonesia was found to be unsafe for consumption. To strengthen the food safety system for online food delivery, city and district governments should reduce barriers to market entry for household enterprises. The pre-market certification process needs to be simple, educate merchants about food safety standards, and facilitate the monitoring and tracing of food safety issues. Co-regulation with the private sector needs to be incorporated in the regulatory framework for food safety. Co-regulation addresses difficulties of the public enforcement of food safety and complements public enforcement with private sector initiatives. This reality should be acknowledged in the current deliberations of the Food and Drug Supervision Bill. Finally, processed food deliveries should be temporarily exempt from local governments’ plastic reduction policies while policies are re-evaluated and regulations should consider the unique needs of the food businesses and the various types and characteristics of plastic bags. Biodegradable plastics should remain an option for food businesses. The government should incentivize innovations on durable and sustainable alternatives to plastic.
... Escherichia coli and other enteric bacteria were also common. E. coli has also been detected in reusable grocery bags (9). Fecal bacteria are common in undergarments of both children and adults (10). ...
Article
Full-text available
Laundering of textiles – clothing, linens, cleaning cloths - functionally removes dirt and bodily fluids which, prevent the transmission and re-exposure to pathogens as well as odor control. Thus, proper laundering is key to controlling microbes that cause illness and produce odors. The practice of laundering varies from region to region and is influenced by culture and resources. This review aims to define laundering as a series of steps that influence the exposure of the person processing the laundry to pathogens – with respect to the removal and control of pathogens and odor causing bacteria, while taking into consideration the types of textiles. Defining laundering in this manner will help better educate the consumer, highlight areas where more research is needed, and how to maximize products and resources. Control of microorganisms during laundering involves mechanical (agitation, soaking), chemical (detergent, bleach), and physical processes (detergent, temperature). Temperature plays the most important role in terms of pathogen control, requiring temperatures exceeding 40°C to 60°C for proper inactivation. While detergents play a role in reducing the microbial load of laundering through release of microbes attached to fabrics and inactivation of microbes sensitive to detergents (e.g. enveloped viruses). The use of additives (enzymes) and bleach (chlorine, activated oxygen) become essential in washes with temperatures below 20°C, especially for certain enteric viruses and bacteria. A structured approach is needed which identifies all the steps in the laundering process and attempts to identify each step relative to its importance to infection risk and odor production.
... According to a survey conducted in the U.S., few Americans (15%) also reported regularly washing reusable grocery bags (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2012). This may be of importance for prevention of cross-contamination since a peer-reviewed study on the microbial safety of reusable bags has shown that if not properly washed on a regular basis, they can play a role in the crosscontamination of foods (Williams, Gerba, Maxwell, & Sinclair, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding consumers' food safety practices is helpful in reducing food-borne illness. A systematic literature search was conducted to establish a baseline of consumer food safety practices in Canada, identify research gaps and make recommendations for future research. To date, this is the first study examining Canadian populations which gathers survey results measuring consumer food safety practices from both peer-reviewed, published literature and non-peer-reviewed public opinion research reports. The search found 26 Canadian publications from 1998 to 2011. Questions covered frequency of food preparation, sources of food safety information, consumer confidence and assigned food safety responsibility, awareness of food safety, knowledge of high-risk groups and high-risk foods, and personal experience with food-borne illness. Food safety behaviours were evaluated according to the ‘clean’, ‘separate’, ‘chill’ and ‘cook’ principles emphasized by the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education's FightBAC® Program. Overall, results differed considerably between studies due to variations in study designs, populations, survey questions and definitions of correct behaviour. However, the analysis provided a general indication of areas requiring targeted consumer food safety education such as increasing thermometer use when cooking meats, raising awareness of high-risk populations and knowledge of high-risk foods, and expanding messaging to the internet and social media. Consumer food safety studies in Canada were limited to self-reported behaviours. Future research could include observational studies to validate results from self-reported food safety practices, and provide more accurate information on consumer food handling practices. Finally, establishing a set of standard food safety questions that can be compared between future surveys would contribute to a comprehensive baseline against which future food safety interventions could be measured.
... They are more likely to bring reusable bags when shopping in vegetable markets than in supermarkets, while their usage of old plastic bags is in an opposite way. The lower usage of old plastic bags in vegetable markets may arise from the dirty or bacteria-susceptible status of plastic bags once used in vegetable markets, which dramatically increases the possibility of cross food contamination produced by pathogenic bacteria (Williams et al., 2011). Additionally, we find that the generation of consumers distributes disproportionally within both vegetable markets and supermarkets, as summarized in Table 5. ...
Article
Reducing the usage of plastic bags has been a pressing task for governments around the world. In China, the government also makes extensive efforts to contrast the negative effects of plastic bag usage by issuing different laws and policies. Conducting an on-site counting of bags used by consumers, this study investigates the usage of plastic bags in China and evaluates the effectiveness of these policies within both supermarkets and vegetable markets (popular markets primarily for vegetables in China). Besides, 5 different factors are investigated to learn their potential influence on the usage of plastic bags, including generation, gender, the price for plastic carrier bags, the packaging style of products, and market type. Results show a boomerang effect of the pricing policy (i.e., charging for plastic carrier bags) in China. Specifically, the policy decreases the usage of plastic carrier bags by 44%. However, the total usage of plastic bags increases, rather than decreases due to the excessive usage of free inner plastic packaging bags used as alternatives to plastic carrier bags. Old and middle-young consumers are disproportionately affected by the pricing policy and behave significantly differently in their usage of plastic bags. Loopholes in management and policies are also discussed.
... In fact, large numbers of bacteria were found in many reusable bags in a recent study. 19 Also, coliform bacteria were found in half of the bags and E. coli bact eria were found in 12% of the bags. The human health impacts are not typically found in LCA studies but are warranted due to the need to consider health with environmental t s added to the amount of water needed to produce the reusable plastic bag. ...
... A previous study reported that the insides of women's handbags and shopping bags were laden with bacteria. [9,10] The bacterial load on the women's purses could possibly increase due to the storage inside the bags. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purses hardly get washed and are discarded, mostly, when they are no longer usable. This study aims to investigate whether women's and men's purses can serve as fomites. A total of 145 purses from 80 women and 65 men were swabbed and cultured. The bacteria were identified by gram staining and with the standard biochemical tests. A total of 138 purses (95.2%) showed bacterial contamination, out of which 49.4% had a single growth and 50.7% had mixed growth. The material of the purse was found to affect bacterial growth. Synthetic purses showed higher mean colony-forming unit (CFU) counts (P < 0.05). Micrococcus (64.8%) and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (64.1%) were the most common bacteria isolated, followed by Bacillus spp. (13.8%). Micrococcus was found with a higher prevalence on men's purses, while Bacillus spp. were more prominent on women's purses (P < 0.05). The difference between the rates of bacterial growth from the purses of women and of men was found to be statistically significant (57.2% and 44.7%; P < 0.05). Furthermore, the mean CFU count was higher for men's purses than for women's purses (P < 0.05). Purses from both men and women are potential vectors for transmission of diseases across the community. The use of synthetic purses should be discouraged, as they contribute to increased bacterial colonization.
... Coliform bacteria are used as indicator organisms. In this study coliform bacteria were found at levels that are cautionary and unsatisfactory in 53% of the samples (≥ 1000/g), this was closely identical to a study done by Charles, et al., who found coliform bacteria in 51% of the samples [40]. In the present study, coliform bacteria were encountered in various types of food similar to results obtained by Odu and Akano who analyzed the microbial quality of shawarma purchased in Port Harcourt city, Nigeria, and found the total coliform count ranged from 1.9 × 10 3 to 9.4 × 10 5 [41]. ...
... Sin embargo, las bolsas reutilizables crean un ambiente propicio para la proliferación de bacterias entéricas si estas no son lavadas de manera regular (Barbosa, et al., 2019;Sinclair, et al., 2018). Por ello, el aumento de uso masivo de este tipo de bolsas no debe darse sin una campaña de educación pública que ayude a reducir el riesgo de contaminación cruzada (Williams, et al., 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Una de las principales causas del problema ambiental es el uso indiscriminado del plástico, en especial de las bolsas; por ello, se establecen acuerdos para reducir su producción, distribución y uso, de modo que algunos gobiernos han promulgado normativas que buscan alcanzar este objetivo. En el presente artículo, se analizan las propuestas de Chile y Perú, aplicadas en el 2018 y casi de manera simultánea. Se realiza también una síntesis de ambas leyes y se compara, mostrando algunas diferencias en el aspecto económico y social. Palabras clave: contaminación ambiental, ley, plásticos, empresa.
... In addition, the presence of L. monocytogenes biofilms on packaging equipment can also be a source of contamination (Galie, García-Gutiérrez, Miguélez, Villar, & Lombó, 2018). Moreover, damaged bags with holes or perforations have been reported as a medium for pathogen contamination to occur (Williams, Gerba, Maxwell, & Sinclair, 2011). None of the samples we collected had a damaged bag. ...
Article
The popularity of bagged salads sold in the market has increased due to their ease of transportation and convenience but there are food safety risks. In this study, we examined the prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) in 100 samples of ready-to-eat bagged and non-bagged lettuces sold in supermarkets in New Zealand. We found five samples tested positive for L. monocytogenes and two further bagged lettuce samples which tested positive for other Listeria species. None of the un-bagged lettuce samples were contaminated with Listeria. The results of this survey indicate a higher microbial risk associated with consumption of bagged salads. This underlines the need for the fresh produce industry to ensure efficient sanitization of their produce before bagging to reduce the risk of Listeria contamination.
... This study isolated a total of 230 bacterial organisms comprising eight (8) bacteria genera from the 140 ladies handbags analyzed. Findings revealed the presence of bacterial contaminants in ladies handbags which is in agreement with the study of some researchers (Bakunas et al., 2009;Williams et al., 2011) who reported in their separate investigations that the inside of ladies handbags and shopping bags were laden with bacteria. The bacterial load could possibly increase due to the storage of things inside the bag. ...
Article
Full-text available
Bacteria including the pathogenic species have been isolated from fomites, these organisms are sometimes multidrug resistant and are of public health concern. It is therefore important to isolate and identify potential bacterial pathogens associated with the internal surface of ladies handbags, in Umuahia, Abia state. One hundred and forty swabbed samples were collected from the ladies hand bags in different groups of individuals which include; Nurses, civil servants, students and market women. Also the handbags from which the samples were collected includes: Leather, Cotton, Nylon and Polyester and velvet handbags. The bags were swabbed with sterile swab sticks and inoculated on different types of culture media and incubated at 37o C for 24 hours. Bacterial isolates were identified using standard microbiological methods including biochemical tests before subjecting isolates to different antimicrobial sensitivity test that was carried out by disc diffusion method. The following bacteria were isolated from the internal surface of the handbags, Coagulase Negative Staphylococci 6(2.6%), Escherichia coli 36(15.7%), Klebsiella spp. 14(6.1%), Staphylococcus aureus 49(21.3%), Bacillus spp. 48(20.9%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa 5(2.2%), Proteus spp. 5(2.2%), streptococcus spp. 31(13.5), Micrococcus spp. 20(8.7%), Salmonella spp. 3(1.3%) and Enterococcus faecalis 13(5.7%). Most of the isolates were sensitive to levofloxacin, gentamicin, norfloxacin, ciprofloxacin and resistant to ampiclox, chloramphenicol and erythromycin. Potentially pathogenic bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics can be spread by hand contact from ladies handbags. Keywords: Bacterial pathogens, ladies handbags, antibiogram
... The 2011 Williams et al. study noted that 49% of the reusable bags were used once a week and 22% and 18%, respectively, used twice and three times a week. 10 Reduced frequency of store visitation, following recent COVID-19 social distancing guidance, would likely extend bag usage intervals. A comparison of these intervals and the reported 3-day SARS-CoV survivability on plastic surfaces 5,6 suggest that virus carryover from the previous bag use will be diminished further. ...
Article
This viewpoint examines the scientific applicability of three studies proffered by single use plastics interests in a campaign to convince the US Dept. of Health & Human Services to issue a statement that reusable grocery bags may spread COVID-19. We find that the studies cited do not support this premise, in part as the pathogens evaluated therein are not coronaviruses and differ substantially from SARS-CoV-2 in mode of infection and survivability on surfaces. The US Centers for Disease Control also recently stated that risk of contracting COVID-19 from surfaces was minimal.
Article
The early 2000’s encompassed a rising awareness by the scientific community, the general public and policy makers of the impending environmental catastrophe caused by the increasing prevalence of plastics in the environment. Soon thereafter, a slew of regulatory initiatives and policies and actions targeting plastic pollution was put forth by governments, international institutions, non-governmental organizations, companies and even by citizen groups. However, the 2020 COVID19 pandemic has disrupted this momentum, and, presently, many fear that plastic pollution will increase, not only due to the increased consumption of single-use plastic items, but also due to the ever growing need of personal protective equipment. Many plastic pollution reduction policies have been suspended, cancelled or postponed. Herein, some of these delayed policies and initiatives are overviewed and, based on publicly available data, the questions as to whether, at a global level, increased government action to address plastic pollution will continue, or will the pandemic change this paradigm, are tentatively answered, as well as whether the pandemic will affect plastic production, in particular, single-use plastics, and what the potential routes to overcome these tendencies may be. As such, the dynamics of the interaction between the restrictive measures adopted in the wake of this pandemic and plastic pollution are examined, as are the roles of different legislative and regulatory bodies, whether at the local, regional or international levels.
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT In many developing countries such as Ethiopia, most people show little regard for the environment resulting people to reuse the non biodegradable plastic water bottles and bags. Poor mechanism cause environment worse and encircled living organisms at risk. Reusing plastic materials with poor cleaning system result leaching of chemical pollutants, such as bisphenol A, phthalates and antimony that causes serious toxicolog humans and reduce the aesthetic values of the environment. Annually, over 23 million plastic water bottles and bags are consumed in Tigray. Most plastic materials are reused and end up in the solid waste stream. Now, plastic materials const challenge to solid waste management in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray and home to more than 215 thousand people. Poor handling, reusing and disposal of plastic waste, which are major causes of environmental pollution, becomes grounds for pathogenic organisms, the spread of infectious diseases and loss of environmental aesthetics. This study examines the adverse impacts of reusing plastic water bottles and bags on people and the environment; and initiates the municipalities at a regional and national level plastic materials in line with their sustainable waste management’s. Creating awareness through education among communities coupled with improving acc waste management will help to achieve sound public and environmental health in Mekelle, Tigray.
Chapter
Paternalists have recently turned their attention toward meat, plastic bags, automation, and carbon. Each one allegedly creates tax-justifying externalities: meat harms the environment and health; plastic bags have a negative environmental impact; automation—whether through artificial intelligence or robots—displaces workers; carbon feeds climate change. But time and time again, experts and policymakers appeal to questionable social science to make a case for a tax on these products. For each one, the weight of all the evidence—not just what experts highlight—suggests that no tax is warranted.
Article
Mobile phones have become indispensable accessories in today's life. However, they might act as fomites as they have travelled with their owner to places such as toilets, hospitals and kitchens which are loaded with microorganisms. A cross-sectional study was carried out to isolate and identify bacteria from mobile phones of volunteers in the community. A total of 192 mobile phones from 102 males and 90 females were swabbed and cultured. The bacteria were identified by gram staining and conventional biochemical tests. A total of 176 mobile phones (91.7 %) showed bacterial contamination. Coagulase negative Staphylococcus was the most prevalent (69.3 %) followed by Micrococci (51.8 %), Klebsiella (1.5 %) and Pseudomonas (1 %). The mean colony forming units was higher among females than males (p < 0.05; 95 % CI 0.021-0.365) and higher on mobile phones which were kept in bags than in pockets (p < 0.05; 95 % CI 0.019-0.369). Furthermore, the use of phone cover was found to reduce microbial growth (OR 4.2; 95 % CI 1.423-12.39; p < 0.05). Significant associations were also found between bacterial growth and female participants, agricultural workers, mobile phones older than 6 months and sharing of mobile phones (p < 0.05). Mobile phones from the community carry potential pathogens. Cleaning of mobile phones should be encouraged and should be preferably stored in pockets or carry cases.
Chapter
Full-text available
Modern human infectious diseases are thought to have originated in 4 domestic animals during the Neolithic period or afterwards. However, recent 5 genetic, phylogeographic and molecular clock analyses of microbial genomes 6 point to a much older Paleolithic origin (2.5 million to 10,000 years ago) and 7 suggest that many of these pathogens coevolved with ancestral hominids in Africa. 8 Another group of human pathogens seems to have derived recently from 9 non-human hominids.
Chapter
Food safety at the market begins before the food reaches the market, continues while at the market, and extends after the market has ended for the day. The entire chain, from farmers to consumers, must be well-maintained in order to reduce the risk of contamination of a food product at the point of consumption. There are specific behaviors and practices that a market should maintain in order to establish a food safety culture and reduce the risk of foodborne illness. The five main contributing factors associated with foodborne illness are: (1) poor personal hygiene; (2) improper holding/time and temperature; (3) contaminated equipment/lack of protection of food from contamination; (4) inadequate cooking; and (5) food from unsafe sources. Controlling these factors can reduce the occurrence of foodborne illness. Attention to preventing these contributing factors is the cornerstone for establishing a market culture that values food safety. This chapter focuses on specific practices that a farmers market manager and vendors can follow to enhance safety.
Article
This article reflects on the current situation of management of household health care / biomedical waste in India. It reviews the efforts made in USA and Europe to address this issue and proposes 10 steps method for building a system to manage medical waste generated at a household level.
Chapter
…there is always some little thing that is too big for us Don Marquis, Archy and Mehitabel, 1929 Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) represent a classic example for the role of the One Health paradigm. A silent barnyard colonizer of ruminants, this zoonotic group of organisms was recognized to have jumped the species barrier to humans barely three decades ago and now is an human enteric infection which is the most common cause of acute kidney failure in children. Transmitted primarily through a breakdown in the food chain that facilitates contamination by some of the world’s overwhelming amount of bovine manure, EHEC demonstrate a great deal of genetic diversity and clearly show the ability to develop into more virulent strains. EHEC also have interactions with a spate of other life forms including viruses, fungi, protozoa and plants.
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Plastic bag users are at risk of number of health hazards. There is paucity of data with regard to awareness of health hazards among general population in India. Aim: This study was done to find out the status of awareness of the health hazards associated with the usage of plastic bags among people and their perception towards the legislation prohibiting the usage of plastic bags. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study conducted in Mangalore city in August 2013. Data was collected by interviewing any adult member (aged above 18 years) in each of the selected households using an interview schedule. Results: Mean age of the 250 participants was 32.8±10.8 years. Majority 160(64%) were females educated up to undergraduate level or above 187(74.8%). Among the participants 216(86.4%) were aware of the health hazards associated with the use of plastic bags. Awareness was significantly more amongst females (p=0.027), well-educated participants (p=0.004) and among professionals and semi-professionals (p
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a viral archive—an archaeological record of history in the making. One aspect of this archive is increased environmental pollution, not least through the discarded facemasks and gloves that characterise the pandemic. This article—directed specifically at archaeologists—argues that an archaeological perspective on ‘COVID waste’ using social media analysis can help to highlight environmental pollution, and that by giving this waste the status of archaeological material and working with other disciplines, archaeologists can contribute to sustainable, policy-led solutions to combat environmental pollution.
Article
Placing children in grocery shopping carts has been implicated recently as a source of infection with Salmonella and Campylobacter in young children. This study was conducted to assess the occurrence total bacteria, coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli on grocery shopping cart handles and seats. A total of 85 shopping carts in parking lots of grocery stores were tested in five major metropolitan areas across the United States. The total numbers of heterotrophic bacteria were as great as 1.1 × 107 on the handle and seat. Coliforms were detected on 72% (62) of the carts. E. coli was identified on 18 of 35 carts (51%) on which coliform identification was conducted. The results of this study suggest the need for improved sanitation of shopping cards/baskets to reduce exposure to pathogens and potential transmission of microbial infections among shoppers.
Article
Full-text available
This study assessed the antimicrobial activity of nanoparticles (consisting of a mixture of silver nitrate and titanium dioxide) and nanoparticle-coated facemasks to protect against infectious agents. The minimum inhibitory concentrations of the nanoparticles against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were 1/128 and 1/512, respectively. The antibacterial activity of nanoparticle-coated masks was quantified according to the procedures of AATCC 100-1999. A 100% reduction in viable E. coli and S. aureus was observed in the coated mask materials after 48 h of incubation. Skin irritation was not observed in any of the volunteers who wore the facemasks. Nanoparticles show promise when applied as a coating to the surface of protective clothing in reducing the risk of transmission of infectious agents.
Article
Full-text available
Rates of Salmonella infection are highest in infants, but little is known about potential sources of infection in this high-risk population. We performed a case-control study to identify dietary and environmental risk factors for sporadic salmonellosis among infants. In 2002-2004, the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network conducted a population-based, case-control study of sporadic salmonellosis among infants <1 year of age in 8 states. Cases were identified via active laboratory-based surveillance. Healthy controls were frequency matched by age and identified through birth registries or published birth announcements. We assessed diet and environmental exposures in the 5 days before illness onset or interview. Data were analyzed by using logistic regression adjusting for age. The study enrolled 442 subjects and 928 controls. Compared with healthy controls, infants with Salmonella infection were less likely to have been breastfed and more likely to have had exposure to reptiles, to have ridden in a shopping cart next to meat or poultry, or to have consumed concentrated liquid infant formula during the 5-day exposure period. Travel outside the United States was associated with illness in infants 3 to 6 and >6 months of age. Attending day care with a child with diarrhea was associated with salmonellosis in infants >6 months of age. We identified a number of modifiable protective and risk factors for salmonellosis in infants. Attention should be directed at developing effective preventive measures for this high-risk population.
Article
Aims: To investigate the incidence of Campylobacter and Salmonella contamination associated with supermarket and butchers’ shop chicken and related packaging. Method and Results: Three hundred raw samples (whole chicken, chicken breast with skin or chicken pieces) were purchased on a monthly basis for seven months. Packaging associated with the chicken was also sampled to provide isolation data for external and whole packaging. Campylobacter and Salmonella were isolated from 68% and 29% of retail chicken, respectively. Campylobacter was isolated from 3% of external and 34% of whole packaging overall. Salmonella was absent from external packaging but was isolated from 11% of whole packaging. No significant trends in isolation rates of the organisms were obtained during the period of sampling. Conclusions: The food industry and consumers should be made aware of the potential risk of Campylobacter and Salmonella on both the external and internal surfaces of packaging in addition to chicken itself. Significance and Impact of the Study: Chicken and chicken packaging is a potential vehicle for the introduction of pathogens in retail and domestic kitchens and in particular for the cross-contamination of Campylobacter and Salmonella.
Article
We investigated a norovirus outbreak (genotype GII.2) affecting 9 members of a soccer team. Illness was associated with touching a reusable grocery bag or consuming its packaged food contents (risk difference, 0.636; P < .01). By polymerase chain reaction, GII norovirus was recovered from the bag, which had been stored in a bathroom used before the outbreak by a person with norovirus-like illness. Airborne contamination of fomites can lead to subsequent point-source outbreaks. When feasible, we recommend dedicated bathrooms for sick persons and informing cleaning staff (professional or otherwise) about the need for adequate environmental sanitation of surfaces and fomites to prevent spread.
Article
Research and development of antimicrobial materials for food applications such as packaging and other food contact surfaces is expected to grow in the next decade with the advent of new polymer materials and antimicrobials. This article reviews the different types of antimicrobial polymers developed for food contact, commercial applications, testing methods, regulations and future trends. Special emphasis will be on the advantages/disadvantages of each technology.
Article
The annual incidence in 14,361 campylobacteriosis cases reported in Finland in 2002-2005 varied between 61 and 76/100,000 population. The mean incidence was highest (148/100,000) in the 25-29 years age group and lowest (range 21-24/100,000) in children aged 5-14 years and patients aged ≥75 years. The number of domestic cases was low in winter and peaked in summer. A total of 622 strains isolated from domestic infections and 785 foreign travel-related strains were serotyped. Serotypes Pen 3 and Pen 37 had the strongest association with travel-related infections (96%, P<0·001), and Pen 6,7, Pen 12 and Pen 27 were significantly associated with domestic infections (>70% domestic within each serotype, P<0·001). Pen 2 and Pen 1,44 were less common in older than in younger patients. Of domestic strains, a higher proportion of Pen 2 strains was isolated in winter (18%) compared to the other serotypes (0-10%).
Article
The World Health Organization estimates that in 2005, 1.5 million people died, worldwide, from diarrheal diseases. A separate study estimated that 70% of diarrheal diseases are foodborne. The widely cited US estimate is that there are 76 million foodborne illnesses annually, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5200 deaths. However, there are epidemiologic and methodologic challenges to accurately estimate the economic burden of foodborne disease on society, either in terms of monetary costs or non-monetary units of measurement. Studies on the economic burden of foodborne disease vary considerably: some analyze the effects of a single pathogen or a single outbreak, whereas others attempt to estimate all foodborne disease in a country. Differences in surveillance systems, methodology, and other factors preclude meaningful comparisons across existing studies. However, if it were possible to completely estimate the societal costs for all acute foodborne diseases and their chronic sequelae worldwide, on the basis of currently available data, worldwide costs from these illnesses would be substantial. Moreover, foodborne infections are largely manifested as intestinal illnesses and are largely preventable. Total costs of foodborne disease would be much smaller in the United States and the world if economic incentives for industry to produce safer food were improved. However, costs of implementing new food safety prevention and control rules must be weighed against the estimated benefits of reducing foodborne disease to determine net benefits so that governments have information to efficiently allocate funds among competing programs.
Article
Information on the required chlorine dose or Ct value (concentration of free chlorine multiplied by contact time) is limited to only a few enteroviruses. In this study the Ct values of some of the reported more chlorine resistant enteroviruses were determined. The Efficiency Hom Model was used to predict the times for 2, 3. and 4 -log inactivation of echovirus 1 and 12, coxsackievirus B5 and poliovirus type 1 at pH 7.5 and 9 at 5 degrees C. Coxsackievirus B5 was the most resistant to chlorine with a Ct requirement of 11.5 mg x min/L at pH 7.5 at 5 degrees C compared to polio with a Ct of 5.3 mg x min/L under the same conditions. All the viruses were more resistant than polio 1 at pH 9.0.
Article
To quantify cross-contamination in the home from chicken to ready-to-eat salad. Based on laboratory scenarios performed by de Jong et al. (2008), transfer rates were estimated for Campylobacter jejuni and Lactobacillus casei as a tracer organism. This study showed that transfer characteristics for both micro-organisms were comparable when washing regimes and transfer via items (cutting board, hands and knives) were compared. Furthermore, the study showed that the use of separate transfer rates for transfer from chicken to items and from items to salad will lead to an overestimation of campylobacteriosis risk. Applying good hygienic practices resulted in final levels of bacteria in the salad below the detection limit. Our study showed that it is important to include these data points in model fitting. Results obtained in observational studies with Lact. casei can be translated to Camp. jejuni using the transfer rates obtained in this study. Cross-contamination by hands, cutting boards and knives was equally important. Cross-contamination should be incorporated in microbiological risk assessments. The present study contributes to this by quantifying transfer of Camp. jejuni and Lact. casei from raw chicken via various contact surfaces into the ready-to-eat product.
Article
Activated Charcoal Cloth with silver (Actisorb Plus) and solutions of silver nitrate, but not Actisorb (Activated Charcoal Cloth without silver), demonstrated antibacterial activity against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. This activity was unimpaired in the presence of plasma. Sodium thioglycollate was an effective neutralizer of Actisorb Plus and of silver nitrate, indicating that the release of silver from Actisorb Plus contributed to the antibacterial activity of the dressing.
Article
To investigate the incidence of Campylobacter and Salmonella contamination associated with supermarket and butchers' shop chicken and related packaging. Three hundred raw samples (whole chicken, chicken breast with skin or chicken pieces) were purchased on a monthly basis for seven months. Packaging associated with the chicken was also sampled to provide isolation data for external and whole packaging. Campylobacter and Salmonella were isolated from 68% and 29% of retail chicken, respectively. Campylobacter was isolated from 3% of external and 34% of whole packaging overall. Salmonella was absent from external packaging but was isolated from 11% of whole packaging. No significant trends in isolation rates of the organisms were obtained during the period of sampling. The food industry and consumers should be made aware of the potential risk of Campylobacter and Salmonella on both the external and internal surfaces of packaging in addition to chicken itself. Chicken and chicken packaging is a potential vehicle for the introduction of pathogens in retail and domestic kitchens and in particular for the cross-contamination of Campylobacter and Salmonella.
Article
To determine the transfer efficiency of micro-organisms from fomites to hands and the subsequent transfer from the fingertip to the lip. Volunteers hands were sampled after the normal usage of fomites seeded with a pooled culture of a Gram-positive bacterium (Micrococcus luteus), a Gram-negative bacterium (Serratia rubidea) and phage PRD-1 (Period A). Activities included wringing out a dishcloth/sponge, turning on/off a kitchen faucet, cutting up a carrot, making hamburger patties, holding a phone receiver, and removing laundry from the washing machine. Transfer efficiencies were 38.47% to 65.80% and 27.59% to 40.03% for the phone receiver and faucet, respectively. Transfer efficiencies from porous fomites were <0.01%. In most cases, M.luteus was transferred most efficiently, followed by phage PRD-1 and S. rubidea. When the volunteers' fingertips were inoculated with the pooled organisms and held to the lip area (Period B), transfer rates of 40.99%, 33.97%, and 33.90% occurred with M. luteus, S. rubidea, and PRD-1, respectively. The highest bacteral transfer rates from fomites to the hands were seen with the hard, non-porous surfaces. Even with low transfer rates, the numbers of bacteria transferred to the hands were still high (up to 10(6) cells). Transfer of bacteria from the fingertip to the lip is similar to that observed from hard surfaces to hands. Infectious doses of pathogens may be transferred to the mouth after handling an everyday contaminated household object.
Article
Silver has been used as an antimicrobial for thousands of years. Over the past several decades, it has been introduced into numerous new venues such as in the treatment of water, in dietary supplements, in medical applications, and to produce antimicrobial coatings and products. Silver is often used as an alternative disinfectant in applications in which the use of traditional disinfectants such as chlorine may result in the formation of toxic by-products or cause corrosion of surfaces. Silver has also been demonstrated to produce a synergistic effect in combination with several other disinfectants. Many mechanisms of the antibacterial effect of silver have been described, but its antiviral and antiprotozoal mechanisms are not well understood. Both microbial tolerance and resistance to silver have been reported; however, the effect of silver has been observed against a wide variety of microorganisms over a period of years. Further research is needed to determine the antimicrobial efficacy of silver in these new applications and the effects of its long-term usage.
Prevent cross-contamination Available at
  • Department
  • Health
minnesota Department of health. 2007. Prevent cross-contamination. Available at: http://www.health. state.mn.us/foodsafety/clean/xcontamination.html. Accessed 20 June 2011.
Food safety tips for reusable grocery bags and bins
  • Canada Health
health Canada. 2010. Food safety tips for reusable grocery bags and bins. Available at: http://www. healthycanadians.gc.ca/init/cons/ food-aliments/safety-salubrite/ reusable-bags-sacs-reutilisable-eng. php. Accessed 20 June 2011.
Food safety tips for reusable grocery bags and bins
  • Anonymous
Anonymous. 2011. Food safety tips for reusable grocery bags and bins. Available at: http://www.healthycanadians.gc/init/ cons/food-aliments/safety-salubrite/reusable-bags-sacs-reutillsable-eng.php. Accessed November 23, 2015. Health Canada.
Available at: www.cdph.ca.gov/pubsforms/ Documents/fspnu04ReusableBags.pdf. Accessed
  • Anonymous
Anonymous. 2015. Practical tips for the use and care of reusable grocery shopping bags. Available at: www.cdph.ca.gov/pubsforms/ Documents/fspnu04ReusableBags.pdf. Accessed July 15, 2015. California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch.
How green is that grocery bag ban? An assessment of the environmental and economic effects of grocery bag bans and taxes. 437. Policy study, Reason Foundation
  • J Morris
  • B Seasholes
Morris, J., and B. Seasholes. 2014. How green is that grocery bag ban? An assessment of the environmental and economic effects of grocery bag bans and taxes. 437. Policy study, Reason Foundation.
Methods and techniques in virology
  • P Payment
  • M Trudel
Payment, P., and M. Trudel. 1993. Methods and techniques in virology. Marcel Dekker Press, New York, NY.
Grocery carry bag sanitation: a microbiological study of reusable bags and "first or single-use" plastic bags
  • Summerbell
Summerbell. 2009. Grocery carry bag sanitation: a microbiological study of reusable bags and "first or single-use" plastic bags. Sporometrics, Toronto, Canada.
Sporadic Campylobacter infection in humans -A population-based surveillance case study. Pediatric Infect
  • K E Fulterton
Fulterton, K. E. 2007. Sporadic Campylobacter infection in humans -A population-based surveillance case study. Pediatric Infect. Dis. J. 26:19-24.