At the period of 1982 - 2003, morbidity rate in pseudotuberculosis and the Yersinia pseudotuberculosis culture rates in groups of servicemen (from different abiotic objects, from humans and small rodents) in different geographic zones were studied. The cases of the isolation of Y. pseudotuberculosis were most frequently registered in groups of servicemen in the Far East and the Kola Peninsula. In these regions the highest morbidity rate in pseudotuberculosis was registered among servicemen. The contamination rate of vegetables during the year was always greater than in other objects under study, including small rodents. The study demonstrated that in the Armed Forces could appear, temporary and relatively constant anthropurgic foci of pseudotuberculosis even in non endemic regions. They were formed in the objects of the food supply service due to the supply of contaminated vegetables. Synanthropic rodents played a secondary role, though they too facilitated the formation of new anthropurgic foci. Under definite conditions anthropurgic foci could exist autonomously, independently of natural foci.
BACKGROUND: Increased prevalence of atopic disorders in children may be associated with changes in types of childhood infections, vaccination programmes, and intestinal microflora. People who follow an anthroposophic way of life use antibiotics restrictively, have few vaccinations, and their diet usually contains live lactobacilli, which may affect the intestinal microflora. We aimed to study the prevalence of atopy in children from anthroposophic families and the influence of an anthroposophic lifestyle on atopy prevalence. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, 295 children aged 5-13 years at two anthroposophic (Steiner) schools near Stockholm, Sweden, were compared with 380 children of the same age at two neighbouring schools in terms of history of atopic and infectious diseases, use of antibiotics and vaccinations, and social and environmental variables. Skin-prick tests were done for 13 common allergens, and we took blood samples from children and their parents for analysis of allergen-specific serum IgE-antibodies. FINDINGS: At the Steiner schools, 52% of the children had had antibiotics in the past, compared with 90% in the control schools. 18% and 93% of children, respectively, had had combined immunisation against measles, mumps, and rubella, and 61% of the children at the Steiner schools had had measles. Fermented vegetables, containing live lactobacilli, were consumed by 63% of the children at Steiner schools, compared with 4.5% at the control schools. Skin-prick tests and blood tests showed that the children from Steiner schools had lower prevalence of atopy than controls (odds ratio 0.62 [95% CI 0.43-0.91]). There was an inverse relation between the number of characteristic features of an anthroposophic lifestyle and risk of atopy (p for trend=0.01). INTERPRETATION: Prevalence of atopy is lower in children from anthroposophic families than in children from other families. Lifestyle factors associated with anthroposophy may lessen the risk of atopy in childhood.
Comment In: Lancet. 1999 May 1;353(9163):1457-810232306
Consumption of packaged fresh leafy vegetables, which are convenient ready-to-eat products, has increased during the last decade. The number of foodborne outbreaks associated with these products has concurrently increased. In our study, (1) label information, (2) O2/CO2 composition, (3) bacterial quality and (4) safety of 100 fresh leafy vegetables at the retail level were studied in Finland during 2013. Bacterial quality was studied using aerobic bacteria (AB) and coliform bacteria (CB) counts, and searching for the presence of Escherichia coli, Listeria and Yersinia. The safety was studied by the presence of Salmonella, ail-positive Yersinia, stx-positive E. coli (STEC) and Listeria monocytogenes using PCR and culturing. Important label information was unavailable on several packages originating from different companies. The packaging date was missing on all packages and the date of durability on 83% of the packages. Storage temperature was declared on 62% of the packages and 73% of the packages contained information about prewashing. The batch/lot number was missing on 29% of the packages. Very low oxygen (O2) (
A total of 890 samples of fresh produce obtained from Norwegian markets were examined in order to assess the bacteriological quality of the products and their potential public health risk. The samples comprised lettuce, pre-cut salads, growing herbs, parsley and dill, mushrooms and strawberries. The samples were analysed for the presence of thermotolerant coliform bacteria (TCB), Escherichia coli O157, Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus spp., and Yersinia enterocolitica. Neither Salmonella spp. nor E. coli O157 were isolated. For all product groups included, TCB were isolated from a small proportion of samples. Three samples harboured L. monocytogenes; one of the isolates belonging to serogroup 1 (champignons) and two of the isolates belonging to serogroup 4 (Chinese leaves and strawberries). Staphylococci were isolated from a relatively large proportion of the samples of strawberries and mushrooms. However, only four isolates were identified as S. aureus (non-toxinogenic). By the use of PCR, the presence of Y. enterocolitica was indicated in a few of the samples of lettuce, whilst no positive samples were found using a culturing method. The study shows that the occurrence of pathogenic bacteria and TCB in the products analysed was quite low. Nevertheless, the results indicate that the type of products analysed may contain pathogenic bacteria and thereby represent a risk to the consumers in regard to food-borne diseases.
Clostridium difficile is an important gastrointestinal pathogen of humans and animals. It has been isolated from various foods, including meat and ready-to-eat salads, and concern has been expressed regarding food as a possible source of human C. difficile infection (CDI).
We sought to isolate C. difficile from a variety of vegetables obtained from local grocery stores and to characterize these isolates.
Vegetables were purchased from 11 different grocery stores in Guelph, Ontario, Canada between May and August 2009. Enrichment culture was performed and isolates were characterized by ribotyping, PFGE, toxinotyping and PCR detection of toxin genes.
Clostridium difficile was isolated from 4.5% (5/111) of retail vegetables. Two different ribotypes and two different toxinotypes were identified. Three isolates were ribotype 078/NAP 7/toxinotype V, possessing all three toxin genes. The other two isolates shared a ribotype with a toxigenic strain previously found in humans with CDI in this region.
Contamination of vegetables was found at relatively low levels, however, all isolates were toxigenic and belonging to ribotypes previously associated with CDI.
Contamination of vegetables with CDI-associated isolates can occur and although the implications for food safety practices remain elusive, the presence of toxigenic isolates suggests vegetables could be a source of C. difficile in humans.
Data from population-based studies and national surveillance systems were collated and analyzed to estimate the impact of disease and risks associated with eating different foods in England and Wales. From 1996 to 2000, an estimated 1,724,315 cases of indigenous foodborne disease per year resulted in 21,997 hospitalizations and 687 deaths. The greatest impact on the healthcare sector arose from foodborne Campylobacter infection (160,788 primary care visits and 15,918 hospitalizations), while salmonellosis caused the most deaths (209). The most important cause of indigenous foodborne disease was contaminated chicken (398,420 cases, risk [cases/million servings] = 111; case-fatality rate [deaths/100,000 cases] = 35, deaths = 141). Red meat (beef, lamb, and pork) contributed heavily to deaths, despite lower levels of risk (287,485 cases, risk = 24, case-fatality rate = 57, deaths = 164). Reducing the impact of indigenous foodborne disease is mainly dependent on controlling the contamination of chicken.
Cites: Int J Food Microbiol. 1997 Apr 15;35(3):195-2049105928
Consumption of minimally-processed, or fresh-cut, fruit and vegetables has rapidly increased in recent years, but there have also been several reported outbreaks associated with the consumption of these products. Sodium hypochlorite is currently the most widespread disinfectant used by fresh-cut industries. Neutral electrolyzed water (NEW) is a novel disinfection system that could represent an alternative to sodium hypochlorite. The aim of the study was to determine whether NEW could replace sodium hypochlorite in the fresh-cut produce industry. The effects of NEW, applied in different concentrations, at different treatment temperatures and for different times, in the reduction of the foodborne pathogens Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7 and against the spoilage bacterium Erwinia carotovora were tested in lettuce. Lettuce was artificially inoculated by dipping it in a suspension of the studied pathogens at 10(8), 10(7) or 10(5) cfu ml(-1), depending on the assay. The NEW treatment was always compared with washing with deionized water and with a standard hypochlorite treatment. The effect of inoculum size was also studied. Finally, the effect of NEW on the indigenous microbiota of different packaged fresh-cut products was also determined. The bactericidal activity of diluted NEW (containing approximately 50 ppm of free chlorine, pH 8.60) against E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, L. innocua and E. carotovora on lettuce was similar to that of chlorinated water (120 ppm of free chlorine) with reductions of 1-2 log units. There were generally no significant differences when treating lettuce with NEW for 1 and 3 min. Neither inoculation dose (10(7) or 10(5) cfu ml(-1)) influenced the bacterial reduction achieved. Treating fresh-cut lettuce, carrot, endive, corn salad and 'Four seasons' salad with NEW 1:5 (containing about 50 ppm of free chlorine) was equally effective as applying chlorinated water at 120 ppm. Microbial reduction depended on the vegetable tested: NEW and sodium hypochlorite treatments were more effective on carrot and endive than on iceberg lettuce, 'Four seasons' salad and corn salad. The reductions of indigenous microbiota were smaller than those obtained with the artificially inoculated bacteria tested (0.5-1.2 log reduction). NEW seems to be a promising disinfection method as it would allow to reduce the amount of free chlorine used for the disinfection of fresh-cut produce by the food industry, as the same microbial reduction as sodium hypochlorite is obtained. This would constitute a safer, 'in situ', and easier to handle way of ensuring food safety.
We have quantified vegetable growers' exposure to fungal bioaerosol components including (1?3)-ß-d-glucan (ß-glucan), total fungal spores, and culturable fungal units. Furthermore, we have evaluated factors that might affect vegetable growers' exposure to fungal bioaerosols and airborne dust. Investigated environments included greenhouses producing cucumbers and tomatoes, open fields producing cabbage, broccoli, and celery, and packing facilities. Measurements were performed at different times during the growth season and during execution of different work tasks. Bioaerosols were collected with personal and stationary filter samplers. Selected fungal species (Beauveria spp., Trichoderma spp., Penicillium olsonii, and Penicillium brevicompactum) were identified using different polymerase chain reaction-based methods and sequencing. We found that the factors (i) work task, (ii) crop, including growth stage of handled plant material, and (iii) open field versus greenhouse significantly affected the workers' exposure to bioaerosols. Packing of vegetables and working in open fields caused significantly lower exposure to bioaerosols, e.g. mesophilic fungi and dust, than harvesting in greenhouses and clearing of senescent greenhouse plants. Also removing strings in cucumber greenhouses caused a lower exposure to bioaerosols than harvest of cucumbers while removal of old plants caused the highest exposure. In general, the exposure was higher in greenhouses than in open fields. The exposures to ß-glucan during harvest and clearing of senescent greenhouse plants were very high (median values ranging between 50 and 1500 ng m(-3)) compared to exposures reported from other occupational environments. In conclusion, vegetable growers' exposure to bioaerosols was related to the environment, in which they worked, the investigated work tasks, and the vegetable crop.
Cites: AIHAJ. 2000 May-Jun;61(3):398-40410885891
Cites: Ann Agric Environ Med. 1998;5(1):7-159852487
Cites: Occup Environ Med. 2001 Feb;58(2):113-811160989
Prepacked ready-to-eat mixed ingredient salads (RTE salads) are readily available whole meals that include a variety of ingredients such as raw vegetables, cooked meat, and pasta. As part of a trend toward healthy convenience foods, RTE salads have become an increasingly popular product among consumers. However, data on the incidence of foodborne pathogens in RTE salads are scarce. In this study, the microbiological safety of 141 RTE salads containing chicken, ham, or smoked salmon was investigated. Salad samples were collected at retail and analyzed using standard methods for Listeria monocytogenes, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica, Salmonella, and Campylobacter spp.L. monocytogenes was isolated from two (1.4%) of the RTE salad samples. Seven (5.0%) of the samples were positive for the ail gene (present in all human pathogenic Y. enterocolitica isolates) and three (2.1%) of the samples were positive for the Shiga toxin genes stx1 and/or stx2. However, no strains of pathogenic Y.enterocolitica or STEC were isolated. Thus, pathogens were found or suspected in almost 1 of 10 RTE salads investigated, and pathogenic bacteria probably are present in various RTE salads from retail premises in Sweden. Because RTE salads are intended to be consumed without heat treatment, control of the ingredients and production hygiene is essential to maintain consumer safety. The recommended maximum storage temperature for RTE salads varies among countries but can be up to 8°C (e.g., in Sweden). Even during a short shelf life (3 to 5 days), storage at 8°C can enable growth of psychrotrophs such as L. monocytogenes and Y. enterocolitica. The maximum storage temperature should therefore be reduced.