Survey of microbial quality of plant-based foods served in restaurants

Author: Sospedra, I.; Rubert, J.; Soriano, J.M.; Mañes, J. Description: This study was carried out to evaluate the microbiological quality of plant-based foods obtained from foodservice establishments. The samples included cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables. According to the European Commission Regulation (No. 2073/2005 and No. 1441/2007) and Spanish microbiological criteria (No. 3484/2000), vegetables were the plant-based dishes where more samples exceed the adopted limits of mesophilic aerobic counts and Enterobacteriaceae. Furthermore, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were also found in several vegetable dishes. E. coli and Salmonella spp. were detected…

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Agriculture, pesticides, food security and food safety

Author: Carvalho, F.P. Description: Decades ago, agrochemicals were introduced aiming at enhancing crop yields and at protecting crops from pests. Due to adaptation and resistance developed by pests to chemicals, every year higher amounts and new chemical compounds are used to protect crops, causing undesired side effects and raising the costs of food production. Eventually, new techniques, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs) resistant to pests, could halt the massive spread of agrochemicals in agriculture fields. Biological chemical-free agriculture is gaining also more and more support but it is still not…

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Shigella as a foodborne pathogen and current methods for detection in food

Author: Warren, B.R.; Parish, M.E.; Schneider, K.R. Description: Shigella, the causative agent of shigellosis or “bacillary dysentery,” has been increasingly involved in foodborne outbreaks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infections Program, Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), Shigella was the third most reported foodborne bacterial pathogen in 2002. Foods are most commonly contaminated with Shigella by an infected food handler who practices poor personal hygiene. Shigella is acid resistant, salt tolerant, and can survive at infective levels in many types of foods such as fruits…

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Agriculture, pesticides, food security and food safety

Author: Carvalho, F.P. Description: Decades ago, agrochemicals were introduced aiming at enhancing crop yields and at protecting crops from pests. Due to adaptation and resistance developed by pests to chemicals, every year higher amounts and new chemical compounds are used to protect crops, causing undesired side effects and raising the costs of food production. Eventually, new techniques, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs) resistant to pests, could halt the massive spread of agrochemicals in agriculture fields. Biological chemical-free agriculture is gaining also more and more support but it is still not…

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Detection and traceability of genetically modified organisms in the food production chain

Author: Miraglia, M.; Berdal, K.G.; Brera, C.; Corbisier, P.; Holst-Jensen, A.; Kok, E.J.; Marvin, H.J.P.; Schimmel, H.; Rentsch, J.; van Rie, J.P.P.F.; Zagon, J. Description: Both labelling and traceability of genetically modified organisms are current issues that are considered in trade and regulation. Currently, labelling of genetically modified foods containing detectable transgenic material is required by EU legislation. A proposed package of legislation would extend this labelling to foods without any traces of transgenics. These new legislations would also impose labelling and a traceability system based on documentation throughout the…

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Neatness counts. How plating affects liking for the taste of food

Author: Zellner, D.A.; Siemers, E.; Teran, V.; Conroy, R.; Lankford, M.; Agrafiotis, A.; Ambrose, L.; Locher, P. Description: Two studies investigated the effect that the arrangement of food on a plate has on liking for the flavor of the food. Food presented in a neatly arranged presentation is liked more than the same food presented in a messy manner. A third study found that subjects expected to like the food in the neat presentations more than in the messy ones and would be willing to pay more for them. They…

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Microfluidic droplet application for bacterial surveillance in fresh-cut produce wash waters

Author: Harmon, J.B.; Gray, H.K.; Young, C.C.; Schwab, K.J. Description: Foodborne contamination and associated illness in the United States is responsible for an estimated 48 million cases per year. Increased food demand, global commerce of perishable foods, and the growing threat of antibiotic resistance are driving factors elevating concern for food safety. Foodborne illness is often associated with fresh-cut, ready-to-eat produce commodities due to the perishable nature of the product and relatively minimal processing from farm to the consumer. The research presented here optimizes and evaluates the utility of microfluidic…

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Resistance of Staphylococcus aureus to UV-C light and combined UV-heat treatments at mild temperatures

Author: Gayan, E.; Garcia-Gonzalo, D.; Alvarez, I.; Condon, S. Description: In this investigation, the resistance of enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus to short-wave ultraviolet light (UV-C) and to combined UV C-heat (UV-H) treatments in buffers and in liquid foods with different physicochemical characteristics was studied. Microbial resistance to UV-C varied slightly among the S. aureus strains tested. The UV-C resistance of S. aureus increased in the entry of stationary growth phase, which in part was due to the expression of the alternative sigma factor sigma(B). The UV-C resistance of S. aureus was…

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Competitive interactions inside mixed-culture biofilms of Salmonella Typhimurium and cultivable indigenous microorganisms on lettuce enhance microbial resistance of their sessile cells to ultraviolet C (UV-C) irradiation

Author: Jahid, I.K.; Han, N.R.; Srey, S.; Ha, S.-D. Description: Salmonella Typhimurium (ST) is one of the leading causes of foodborne diseases in fresh produce, such as lettuce. Despite this, the role of the possible interactions between lettuce indigenous microorganisms and ST on their ability to form biofilm on lettuce and subsequently on the sensitivity of their sessile cells to ultraviolet C (UV-C) irradiation, remains relatively unexplored. Here, the interaction of a mixed-culture of ST and cultivable indigenous microorganisms (CIMs) was examined, as well as the efficacy of UV-C. Initially,…

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Climate change impacts on mycotoxin risks in US maize

Author: Wu, F.; Bhatnagar, D.; Bui-Klimke, T.; Carbone, I.; Hellmich, R.; Munkvold, G.; Paul, P.; Payne, G.; Takle, E. Description: To ensure future food security, it is crucial to understand how potential climate change scenarios will affect agriculture. One key area of interest is how climatic factors, both in the near- and the long-term future, could affect fungal infection of crops and mycotoxin production by these fungi. The objective of this paper is to review the potential impact of climate change on three important mycotoxins that contaminate maize in the…

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