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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Craig W. Hedberg (Website)

Division of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, MMC 807, Room 1214, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
Fax: +1 612 626 4837
Interests: food borne disease surveillance; surveillance of environmental factors associated with foodborne disease; the role of food workers in the occurrence of food borne diseases; use of epidemiologic methods in outbreak investigations and disease control; environmental contamination with enteric pathogens

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

WHO estimates that foodborne and waterborne diarrheal diseases taken together kill about 2.2 million people annually, 1.9 million of them children.  In the United States, foodborne diseases affects  48 million people and kills 3,000 each year. They also cause billions of dollars in healthcare-related and industry costs annually.  An outbreak of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) associated with a newly recognized strain of enterohemorrhagic E. coli O104 demonstrated the impact of food sourcing networks on food safety. The rapid movement of people, food and pathogens provides a global basis for food safety concerns and the need for effective public health interventions. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control identified reducing foodborne diseases as a winnable battle. That means that with additional effort and support for evidence-based, cost-effective strategies that can be implemented now, significant reductions in foodborne disease can be achieved. This is consistent with the WHO Global Strategy for Food Safety. This special issue has a broad focus emerging food safety threats, and new methods for the surveillance and control of foodborne diseases. Both empirical and review paper submissions are welcome, on any topic relevant to the public health response to foodborne illness at the local, national, and global levels. Papers targeting information to guide food safety policy are especially encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Craig W. Hedberg
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Food-Safety Hazards in the Pork Chain in Nagaland, North East India: Implications for Human Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(1), 403-417; doi:10.3390/ijerph110100403
Received: 16 September 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 4 December 2013 / Published: 24 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (283 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pork occupies an important place in the diet of the population of Nagaland, one of the North East Indian states. We carried out a pilot study along the pork meat production chain, from live animal to end consumer. The goal was to [...] Read more.
Pork occupies an important place in the diet of the population of Nagaland, one of the North East Indian states. We carried out a pilot study along the pork meat production chain, from live animal to end consumer. The goal was to obtain information about the presence of selected food borne hazards in pork in order to assess the risk deriving from these hazards to the health of the local consumers and make recommendations for improving food safety. A secondary objective was to evaluate the utility of risk-based approaches to food safety in an informal food system. We investigated samples from pigs and pork sourced at slaughter in urban and rural environments, and at retail, to assess a selection of food-borne hazards. In addition, consumer exposure was characterized using information about hygiene and practices related to handling and preparing pork. A qualitative hazard characterization, exposure assessment and hazard characterization for three representative hazards or hazard proxies, namely Enterobacteriaceae, T. solium cysticercosis and antibiotic residues, is presented. Several important potential food-borne pathogens are reported for the first time including Listeria spp. and Brucella suis. This descriptive pilot study is the first risk-based assessment of food safety in Nagaland. We also characterise possible interventions to be addressed by policy makers, and supply data to inform future risk assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle The Dynamic Growth Exhibition and Accumulation of Cadmium of Pak Choi (Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis) Grown in Contaminated Soils
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(11), 5284-5298; doi:10.3390/ijerph10115284
Received: 10 July 2013 / Revised: 10 October 2013 / Accepted: 14 October 2013 / Published: 25 October 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (370 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The accumulation of heavy metals, especially cadmium (Cd), in leafy vegetables was compared with other vegetables. Pak choi (Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis) is a leafy vegetable consumed in Taiwan and its safety for consumption after growing in contaminated soils [...] Read more.
The accumulation of heavy metals, especially cadmium (Cd), in leafy vegetables was compared with other vegetables. Pak choi (Brassica campestris L. ssp. chinensis) is a leafy vegetable consumed in Taiwan and its safety for consumption after growing in contaminated soils is a public concern. A pot experiment (50 days) was conducted to understand the dynamic accumulation of Cd by pak choi grown in artificially contaminated soils. The edible parts of pak choi were sampled and analyzed every 2–3 days. The dry weight (DW) of pak choi was an exponential function of leaf length, leaf width, and chlorophyll content. The accumulation of Cd increased when the soil Cd concentration was raised, but was kept at a constant level during different growth stages. Pak choi had a high bioconcentration factor (BCF = ratio of the concentration in the edible parts to that in the soils), at values of 3.5–4.0. The consumption of pak choi grown in soils contaminated at levels used in this study would result in the ingestion of impermissible amounts of Cd and could possibly have harmful effects on health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Heterogeneous Risk Perceptions: The Case of Poultry Meat Purchase Intentions in Finland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(10), 4925-4943; doi:10.3390/ijerph10104925
Received: 21 August 2013 / Revised: 12 September 2013 / Accepted: 29 September 2013 / Published: 11 October 2013
PDF Full-text (261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study focused on the heterogeneity of consumer reactions, measured through poultry meat purchase intentions, when facing three cases of risk. The heterogeneity was analysed by latent class logistic regression that included all three risk cases. Approximately 60% of the respondents belonged [...] Read more.
This study focused on the heterogeneity of consumer reactions, measured through poultry meat purchase intentions, when facing three cases of risk. The heterogeneity was analysed by latent class logistic regression that included all three risk cases. Approximately 60% of the respondents belonged to the group of production risk avoiders, in which the intention to purchase risk food was significantly lower than in the second group of risk neutrals. In addition to socio-demographic variables, the purchase intentions were statistically associated with several attitude-based variables. We highlighted some policy implications of the heterogeneity. Overall, the study demonstrated that risk matters to consumers, not all risk is equal, and consumer types react somewhat differently to different types of risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Can Probiotics Improve the Environmental Microbiome and Resistome of Commercial Poultry Production?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(10), 4534-4559; doi:10.3390/ijerph10104534
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 17 September 2013 / Accepted: 18 September 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (4186 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Food animal production systems have become more consolidated and integrated, producing large, concentrated animal populations and significant amounts of fecal waste. Increasing use of manure and litter as a more “natural” and affordable source of fertilizer may be contributing to contamination of [...] Read more.
Food animal production systems have become more consolidated and integrated, producing large, concentrated animal populations and significant amounts of fecal waste. Increasing use of manure and litter as a more “natural” and affordable source of fertilizer may be contributing to contamination of fruits and vegetables with foodborne pathogens. In addition, human and animal manure have been identified as a significant source of antibiotic resistance genes thereby serving as a disseminator of resistance to soil and waterways. Therefore, identifying methods to remediate human and animal waste is critical in developing strategies to improve food safety and minimize the dissemination of antibiotic resistant bacteria. In this study, we sought to determine whether withdrawing antibiotic growth promoters or using alternatives to antibiotics would reduce the abundance of antibiotic resistance genes or prevalence of pathogens in poultry litter. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) paired with high throughput sequencing was used to evaluate the bacterial community composition of litter from broiler chickens that were treated with streptogramin growth-promoting antibiotics, probiotics, or prebiotics. The prevalence of resistance genes and pathogens was determined from sequencing results or PCR screens of litter community DNA. Streptogramin antibiotic usage did not elicit statistically significant differences in Shannon diversity indices or correlation coefficients among the flocks. However, T-RFLP revealed that there were inter-farm differences in the litter composition that was independent of antibiotic usage. The litter from all farms, regardless of antibiotic usage, contained streptogramin resistance genes (vatA, vatB, and vatE), macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance genes (ermA and ermB), the tetracycline resistance gene tetM and class 1 integrons. There was inter-farm variability in the distribution of vatA and vatE with no statistically significant differences with regards to usage. Bacterial diversity was higher in litter when probiotics or prebiotics were administered to flocks but as the litter aged, diversity decreased. No statistically signficant differences were detected in the abundance of class 1 integrons where 3%–5% of the community was estimated to harbor a copy. Abundance of pathogenic Clostridium species increased in aging litter despite the treatment while the abundance of tetracycline-resistant coliforms was unaffected by treatment. However some treatments decreased the prevalence of Salmonella. These findings suggest that withdrawing antibiotics or administering alternatives to antibiotics can change the litter bacterial community and reduce the prevalence of some pathogenic bacteria, but may not immediately impact the prevalence of antibiotic resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Appraisal of Hygiene Indicators and Farming Practices in the Production of Leafy Vegetables by Organic Small-Scale Farmers in uMbumbulu (Rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(9), 4323-4338; doi:10.3390/ijerph10094323
Received: 30 June 2013 / Revised: 9 August 2013 / Accepted: 4 September 2013 / Published: 13 September 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (295 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
During October, November and December 2011 (when highest sales of Agri-Hub fresh produce are observed), irrigation water, compost, lettuce and spinach sampled from four different farmer cooperatives supplying the local Agri-Hub in uMbumbulu (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) were analyzed monthly for the presence [...] Read more.
During October, November and December 2011 (when highest sales of Agri-Hub fresh produce are observed), irrigation water, compost, lettuce and spinach sampled from four different farmer cooperatives supplying the local Agri-Hub in uMbumbulu (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) were analyzed monthly for the presence of total and fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli using the most probable number (MPN) technique. The pH values for all irrigation water samples analyzed were within the acceptable range of 6.5–8.5 for agricultural use. Fecal coliform levels were <1,000 MPN per 100 mL irrigation water and <1,000 MPN per g of compost. The vegetables produced by Agri-Hub small-scale farmers met the requirements for total coliforms of <200/g set by the South African Department of Health at the time of sampling. E. coli MPN values for irrigation water and vegetables were below the limit of detection. In addition, the farming practices of 73 farmers were assessed via a survey. The results revealed that more than 40% of farmers used microbiologically safe tap water for irrigation and that trained farmers have a significantly better understanding of the importance of production hygiene than untrained farmers. These results reiterate the importance of interventions that build capacity in the area of food safety and hygiene of small-scale farmers for market access of formal value chains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Food Safety in Home Kitchens: A Synthesis of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(9), 4060-4085; doi:10.3390/ijerph10094060
Received: 17 July 2013 / Revised: 20 August 2013 / Accepted: 21 August 2013 / Published: 2 September 2013
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (317 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Mycobacterium avium in Slaughter Pigs Based on Serological Monitoring Results and Bacteriological Validation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(9), 4027-4038; doi:10.3390/ijerph10094027
Received: 11 July 2013 / Revised: 29 July 2013 / Accepted: 19 August 2013 / Published: 30 August 2013
PDF Full-text (234 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mycobacterium avium (MA) is a potential food safety hazard in pigs. Blood samples of slaughtered pigs in the Netherlands and Germany were tested for the presence of MA antibodies to estimate the serological prevalence in the tested population. In the Dutch and [...] Read more.
Mycobacterium avium (MA) is a potential food safety hazard in pigs. Blood samples of slaughtered pigs in the Netherlands and Germany were tested for the presence of MA antibodies to estimate the serological prevalence in the tested population. In the Dutch and German population 1.0% and 1.7% samples were positive, and 0.5% and 17.4% of the herds were at risk for having a MA infection respectively. The validity of the applied MA-ELISA was evaluated under field conditions. The specificity of the MA-ELISA was high (>98.4%). The average herd sensitivity was 18%. In the affected herds on average 50% of the animals were tested bacteriological positive for MA. It can be concluded that serological screening for the presence of MA antibodies is capable of identifying pig populations that are at risk for a MA infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Reporting of Foodborne Illness by U.S. Consumers and Healthcare Professionals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(8), 3684-3714; doi:10.3390/ijerph10083684
Received: 30 June 2013 / Revised: 7 August 2013 / Accepted: 8 August 2013 / Published: 19 August 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (257 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During 2009–2010, a total of 1,527 foodborne disease outbreaks were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2013). However, in a 2011 CDC report, Scallan et al. estimated about 48 million people contract a foodborne illness annually in the [...] Read more.
During 2009–2010, a total of 1,527 foodborne disease outbreaks were reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2013). However, in a 2011 CDC report, Scallan et al. estimated about 48 million people contract a foodborne illness annually in the United States. Public health officials are concerned with this under-reporting; thus, the purpose of this study was to identify why consumers and healthcare professionals don’t report foodborne illness. Focus groups were conducted with 35 consumers who reported a previous experience with foodborne illness and with 16 healthcare professionals. Also, interviews with other healthcare professionals with responsibility of diagnosing foodborne illness were conducted. Not knowing who to contact, being too ill, being unsure of the cause, and believing reporting would not be beneficial were all identified by consumers as reasons for not reporting foodborne illness. Healthcare professionals that participated in the focus groups indicated the amount of time between patients’ consumption of food and seeking treatment and lack of knowledge were barriers to diagnosing foodborne illness. Issues related to stool samples such as knowledge, access and cost were noted by both groups. Results suggest that barriers identified could be overcome with targeted education and improved access and information about the reporting process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Antimicrobial Activity of a Neem Cake Extract in a Broth Model Meat System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(8), 3282-3295; doi:10.3390/ijerph10083282
Received: 29 March 2013 / Revised: 10 July 2013 / Accepted: 23 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (328 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work reports on the antimicrobial activity of an ethyl acetate extract of neem (Azadirachta indica) cake (NCE) against bacteria affecting the quality of retail fresh meat in a broth model meat system. NCE (100 µg) was also tested by [...] Read more.
This work reports on the antimicrobial activity of an ethyl acetate extract of neem (Azadirachta indica) cake (NCE) against bacteria affecting the quality of retail fresh meat in a broth model meat system. NCE (100 µg) was also tested by the agar disc diffusion method. It inhibited the growth of all tested microorganisms. The NCE growth inhibition zone (IZ) ranged 11.33–22.67 mm while the ciprofloxacin (10 µg) IZ ranged from 23.41–32.67 mm. There was no significant difference (p ≤ 0.05) between the antimicrobial activity of NCE and ciprofloxacin vs. C. jejuni and Leuconostoc spp. The NCE antibacterial activity was moreover determined at lower concentrations (1:10–1:100,000) in micro-assays. The percent growth reduction ranged from 61 ± 2.08–92 ± 3.21. The higher bacterial growth reduction was obtained at 10 µg concentration of NCE. Species-specific PCR and multiplex PCR with the DNA dye propidium monoazide were used to directly detect viable bacterial cells from experimentally contaminated meat samples. The numbers of bacterial cells never significantly (p ≤ 0.05) exceeded the inocula concentration used to experimentally contaminate the NCE treated meat. This report represents a screening methodology to evaluate the antimicrobial capability of a herbal extract to preserve meat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle An Assessment of Food Safety Needs of Restaurants in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(8), 3296-3309; doi:10.3390/ijerph10083296
Received: 18 June 2013 / Revised: 17 July 2013 / Accepted: 23 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (219 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One hundred and forty five head chefs and catering managers of restaurants in Owerri, Nigeria were surveyed to establish their knowledge of food safety hazards and control measures. Face-to-face interviews were conducted and data collected on their knowledge of risk perception, food [...] Read more.
One hundred and forty five head chefs and catering managers of restaurants in Owerri, Nigeria were surveyed to establish their knowledge of food safety hazards and control measures. Face-to-face interviews were conducted and data collected on their knowledge of risk perception, food handling practices, temperature control, foodborne pathogens, and personal hygiene. Ninety-two percent reported that they cleaned and sanitized food equipment and contact surfaces while 37% engaged in cross-contamination practices. Forty-nine percent reported that they would allow a sick person to handle food. Only 70% reported that they always washed their hands while 6% said that they continued cooking after cracking raw eggs. All respondents said that they washed their hands after handling raw meat, chicken or fish. About 35% lacked knowledge of ideal refrigeration temperature while 6% could not adjust refrigerator temperature. Only 40%, 28%, and 21% had knowledge of Salmonella, E. coli, and Hepatitis A, respectively while 8% and 3% had knowledge of Listeria and Vibrio respectively, as pathogens. Open markets and private bore holes supplied most of their foods and water, respectively. Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient analysis revealed almost perfect linear relationship between education and knowledge of pathogens (r = 0.999), cooking school attendance and food safety knowledge (r = 0.992), and class of restaurant and food safety knowledge (r = 0.878). The lack of current knowledge of food safety among restaurant staff highlights increased risk associated with fast foods and restaurants in Owerri. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessCommunication Scoping the Impact of Changes in Population Age-Structure on the Future Burden of Foodborne Disease in The Netherlands, 2020–2060
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(7), 2888-2896; doi:10.3390/ijerph10072888
Received: 2 May 2013 / Revised: 17 June 2013 / Accepted: 28 June 2013 / Published: 11 July 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A demographic shift towards a larger proportion of elderly in the Dutch population in the coming decades might change foodborne disease incidence and mortality. In the current study we focused on the age-specific changes in the occurrence of foodborne pathogens by combining [...] Read more.
A demographic shift towards a larger proportion of elderly in the Dutch population in the coming decades might change foodborne disease incidence and mortality. In the current study we focused on the age-specific changes in the occurrence of foodborne pathogens by combining age-specific demographic forecasts for 10-year periods between 2020 and 2060 with current age-specific infection probabilities for Campylobacter spp., non-typhoidal Salmonella, hepatitis A virus, acquired Toxoplasma gondii and Listeria monocytogenes. Disease incidence rates for the former three pathogens were estimated to change marginally, because increases and decreases in specific age groups cancelled out over all ages. Estimated incidence of reported cases per 100,000 for 2060 mounted to 12 (Salmonella), 51 (Campylobacter), 1.1 (hepatitis A virus) and 2.1 (Toxoplasma). For L. monocytogenes, incidence increased by 45% from 0.41 per 100,000 in 2011 to 0.60 per 100,000. Estimated mortality rates increased two-fold for Salmonella and Campylobacter to 0.5 and 0.7 per 100,000, and increased by 25% for Listeria from 0.06 to 0.08. This straightforward scoping effort does not suggest major changes in incidence and mortality for these food borne pathogens based on changes in de population age-structure as independent factor. Other factors, such as changes in health care systems, social clustering and food processing and preparation, could not be included in the estimates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Detection of β-Lactamase Residues in Milk by Sandwich ELISA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(7), 2688-2698; doi:10.3390/ijerph10072688
Received: 16 May 2013 / Revised: 9 June 2013 / Accepted: 17 June 2013 / Published: 28 June 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (374 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
β-Lactamase residues in milk represent a public health risk. The cylinder plate detection method, which is based on bacterial growth, is laborious and time consuming. In this study, 15 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were selected against Temoneira (TEM) 1 β-lactamase. A sandwich enzyme-linked [...] Read more.
β-Lactamase residues in milk represent a public health risk. The cylinder plate detection method, which is based on bacterial growth, is laborious and time consuming. In this study, 15 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were selected against Temoneira (TEM) 1 β-lactamase. A sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on an optimum mAb pair was developed and validated for the detection of β-lactamase. The limit of detection and linear dynamic range of the method were 4.17 ng/mL and 5.5–100 ng/mL, respectively. β-Lactamase recovery in pure milk was 96.82–103.13%. The intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation were 6.21–7.38% and 12.96–13.74%, respectively. Our developed sandwich ELISA can be used as a rapid detection method of β-lactamase in milk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Dietary Nickel Chloride Induces Oxidative Intestinal Damage in Broilers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2109-2119; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062109
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 17 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 May 2013 / Published: 23 May 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (415 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the oxidative damage induced by dietary nickel chloride (NiCl2) in the intestinal mucosa of different parts of the intestine of broilers, including duodenum, jejunum and ileum. A total of 240 one-day-old broilers [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the oxidative damage induced by dietary nickel chloride (NiCl2) in the intestinal mucosa of different parts of the intestine of broilers, including duodenum, jejunum and ileum. A total of 240 one-day-old broilers were divided into four groups and fed on a corn-soybean basal diet as control diet or the same basal diet supplemented with 300, 600 or 900 mg/kg NiCl2 during a 42-day experimental period. The results showed that the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and the ability to inhibit hydroxy radical and glutathione (GSH) content were significantly (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) decreased in the 300, 600 and 900 mg/kg groups in comparison with those of the control group. In contrast, malondialdehyde (MDA) content was significantly (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) higher in the 300, 600 and 900 mg/kg groups than that in the control group. It was concluded that dietary NiCl2 in excess of 300 mg/kg could cause oxidative damage in the intestinal mucosa in broilers, which finally impaired the intestinal functions including absorptive function and mucosal immune function. The oxidative damage might be a main mechanism on the effects of NiCl2 on the intestinal health of broilers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle A Higher Prevalence Rate of Campylobacter in Retail Beef Livers Compared to Other Beef and Pork Meat Cuts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(5), 2058-2068; doi:10.3390/ijerph10052058
Received: 27 March 2013 / Revised: 10 May 2013 / Accepted: 13 May 2013 / Published: 21 May 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli in retail beef, beef livers, and pork meats purchased from the Tulsa (OK, USA) area and to further characterize the isolates obtained through antimicrobial susceptibility testing. [...] Read more.
The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli in retail beef, beef livers, and pork meats purchased from the Tulsa (OK, USA) area and to further characterize the isolates obtained through antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A total of 97 chilled retail beef (50 beef livers and 47 other cuts), and 100 pork samples were collected. The prevalence of Campylobacter in beef livers was 39/50 (78%), while no Campylobacter was isolated from the other beef cuts. The prevalence in pork samples was 2/100 (2%). A total of 108 Campylobacter isolates (102 beef livers isolates and six pork isolates) were subjected to antimicrobial resistance profiling against sixteen different antimicrobials that belong to eight different antibiotic classes. Of the six pork Campylobacter coli isolates, four showed resistance to all antimicrobials tested. Among the beef liver isolates, the highest antibiotic resistances were to tetracyclines and β-lactams, while the lowest resistances were to macrolides, aminoglycosides, lincosamides, and phenicols. Resistances to the fluoroquinolone, macrolide, aminoglycoside, tetracycline, b-lactam, lincosamide, and phenicol antibiotic classes were significantly higher in Campylobacter coli than Campylobacter jejuni isolates. Multidrug Resistance (MDR) among the 102 Campylobacter (33 Campylobacter jejuni and 69 Campylobacter coli) beef liver isolates was significantly higher in Campylobacter coli (62%) than Campylobacter jejuni (39%). The high prevalence of Campylobacter in retail beef livers and their antimicrobial resistance raise concern about the safety of these retail products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Monoclonal Antibody-Based Sandwich ELISA for the Detection of Staphylococcal Enterotoxin A
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(4), 1598-1608; doi:10.3390/ijerph10041598
Received: 19 March 2013 / Revised: 26 March 2013 / Accepted: 15 April 2013 / Published: 19 April 2013
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A sensitive and specific monoclonal antibody-based sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was established and validated for the detection of staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA). After routine fusion and selection, 10 monoclonal antibodies showed high affinity for SEA. An optimal pair for sandwich ELISA [...] Read more.
A sensitive and specific monoclonal antibody-based sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was established and validated for the detection of staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA). After routine fusion and selection, 10 monoclonal antibodies showed high affinity for SEA. An optimal pair for sandwich ELISA was selected by pairwise interaction analysis. After optimization, the limit of detection (LOD) and linear dynamic range of the method were established, and were found to be 0.0282 ng/mL and 0.06–2 ng/mL, respectively. The recovery in pure milk ranged from 82.67% to 111.95% and the intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation ranged from 3.16% to 6.05% and from 5.16% to 10.79%, respectively. Cross-reactivity with staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB), staphylococcal enterotoxin C (SEC), staphylococcal enterotoxin D (SED), and staphylococcal enterotoxin E (SEE) in this method were insignificant. These results indicate that the sandwich ELISA method developed in our study is effective for routine identification of SEA in food samples. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Methods for Recovering Microorganisms from Solid Surfaces Used in the Food Industry: A Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(11), 6169-6183; doi:10.3390/ijerph10116169
Received: 22 September 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 7 November 2013 / Published: 14 November 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Various types of surfaces are used today in the food industry, such as plastic, stainless steel, glass, and wood. These surfaces are subject to contamination by microorganisms responsible for the cross-contamination of food by contact with working surfaces. The HACCP-based processes are [...] Read more.
Various types of surfaces are used today in the food industry, such as plastic, stainless steel, glass, and wood. These surfaces are subject to contamination by microorganisms responsible for the cross-contamination of food by contact with working surfaces. The HACCP-based processes are now widely used for the control of microbial hazards to prevent food safety issues. This preventive approach has resulted in the use of microbiological analyses of surfaces as one of the tools to control the hygiene of products. A method of recovering microorganisms from different solid surfaces is necessary as a means of health prevention. No regulation exists for surface microbial contamination, but food companies tend to establish technical specifications to add value to their products and limit contamination risks. The aim of this review is to present the most frequently used methods: swabbing, friction or scrubbing, printing, rinsing or immersion, sonication and scraping or grinding and describe their advantages and drawbacks. The choice of the recovery method has to be suitable for the type and size of the surface tested for microbiological analysis. Today, quick and cheap methods have to be standardized and especially easy to perform in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Estimating the Public Health Impact of Setting Targets at the European Level for the Reduction of Zoonotic Salmonella in Certain Poultry Populations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(10), 4836-4850; doi:10.3390/ijerph10104836
Received: 19 August 2013 / Revised: 25 September 2013 / Accepted: 28 September 2013 / Published: 11 October 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (209 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the European Union (EU), targets are being set for the reduction of certain zoonotic Salmonella serovars in different animal populations, including poultry populations, within the framework of Regulation (EC) No. 2160/2003 on the control of zoonoses. For a three-year transitional period, [...] Read more.
In the European Union (EU), targets are being set for the reduction of certain zoonotic Salmonella serovars in different animal populations, including poultry populations, within the framework of Regulation (EC) No. 2160/2003 on the control of zoonoses. For a three-year transitional period, the EU targets were to cover only Salmonella Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium (and in addition S. Hadar, S. Infantis and S. Virchow for breeding flocks of Gallus gallus). Before the end of that transitional period, the revision of the EU targets was to be considered, including the potentially addition of other serovars with public health significance to the permanent EU targets. This review article aims at providing an overview of the assessments carried out by the Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards of the European Food Safety Authority in the field of setting targets for Salmonella in poultry populations (breeding flocks of Gallus gallus, laying flocks of Gallus gallus, broiler flocks of Gallus gallus and flocks of breeding and fattening turkeys) and their impact in subsequent changes in EU legislation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Hepatitis E Virus: Foodborne, Waterborne and Zoonotic Transmission
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(10), 4507-4533; doi:10.3390/ijerph10104507
Received: 2 July 2013 / Revised: 20 August 2013 / Accepted: 3 September 2013 / Published: 25 September 2013
Cited by 37 | PDF Full-text (192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for epidemics and endemics of acute hepatitis in humans, mainly through waterborne, foodborne, and zoonotic transmission routes. HEV is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus classified in the family Hepeviridae and encompasses four known Genotypes (1–4), at [...] Read more.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for epidemics and endemics of acute hepatitis in humans, mainly through waterborne, foodborne, and zoonotic transmission routes. HEV is a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus classified in the family Hepeviridae and encompasses four known Genotypes (1–4), at least two new putative genotypes of mammalian HEV, and one floating genus of avian HEV. Genotypes 1 and 2 HEVs only affect humans, while Genotypes 3 and 4 are zoonotic and responsible for sporadic and autochthonous infections in both humans and several other animal species worldwide. HEV has an ever-expanding host range and has been identified in numerous animal species. Swine serve as a reservoir species for HEV transmission to humans; however, it is likely that other animal species may also act as reservoirs. HEV poses an important public health concern with cases of the disease definitively linked to handling of infected pigs, consumption of raw and undercooked animal meats, and animal manure contamination of drinking or irrigation water. Infectious HEV has been identified in numerous sources of concern including animal feces, sewage water, inadequately-treated water, contaminated shellfish and produce, as well as animal meats. Many aspects of HEV pathogenesis, replication, and immunological responses remain unknown, as HEV is an extremely understudied but important human pathogen. This article reviews the current understanding of HEV transmission routes with emphasis on food and environmental sources and the prevalence of HEV in animal species with zoonotic potential in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Foodborne Illness Incidence Rates and Food Safety Risks for Populations of Low Socioeconomic Status and Minority Race/Ethnicity: A Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(8), 3634-3652; doi:10.3390/ijerph10083634
Received: 1 July 2013 / Revised: 7 August 2013 / Accepted: 8 August 2013 / Published: 15 August 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (244 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While foodborne illness is not traditionally tracked by race, ethnicity or income, analyses of reported cases have found increased rates of some foodborne illnesses among minority racial/ethnic populations. In some cases (Listeria, Yersinia) increased rates are due to unique [...] Read more.
While foodborne illness is not traditionally tracked by race, ethnicity or income, analyses of reported cases have found increased rates of some foodborne illnesses among minority racial/ethnic populations. In some cases (Listeria, Yersinia) increased rates are due to unique food consumption patterns, in other cases (Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter) it is unclear why this health disparity exists. Research on safe food handling knowledge and behaviors among low income and minority consumers suggest that there may be a need to target safe food handling messages to these vulnerable populations. Another possibility is that these populations are receiving food that is less safe at the level of the retail outlet or foodservice facility. Research examining the quality and safety of food available at small markets in the food desert environment indicates that small corner markets face unique challenges which may affect the quality and potential safety of perishable food. Finally, a growing body of research has found that independent ethnic foodservice facilities may present increased risks for foodborne illness. This review of the literature will examine the current state of what is known about foodborne illness among, and food safety risks for, minority and low socioeconomic populations, with an emphasis on the United States and Europe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Food Safety Risks for Populations of Different Races, Ethnicities and Income Levels at the Retail, Food Service and Consumer Levels: A Review of the Literature
Author: Jennifer J. Quinlan
Affiliation: Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA; E-Mail: jjq26@drexel.edu
Abstract: While foodborne illness is not traditionally tracked by race, ethnicity or income, a number of recent analyses of reported illnesses have found increased rates of foodborne illness among these populations. It is unclear why this health disparity exists. One possibility is less safe food handling practices among these populations. There have been a number of studies which have examined food handling practices among minority consumers through a variety of methods. Some studies have used focus groups and surveys to obtain reported food handling behaviors. Others have observed food handling practices. While results of these studies are somewhat mixed, in general the data suggest that there may be a need to target safe food handling messages to these vulnerable populations. Another possibility for why minority and/or low income populations might experience increased rates of foodborne illness may be that they are receiving food that is less safe at the level of the retail food outlet or food service facility. Low socioeconomic (SES) and minority populations are less likely to have access to supermarkets but more likely to have access to small grocery stores, convenience stores and fast food/take out restaurants. This phenomenon, also known as a “food desert” is believed to contribute to poor quality diets in these populations because of lack of access to fresh, healthy food choices. It is not clear however, whether the “food desert” phenomenon also contributes to less safe food available to these populations. A limited body of research has begun to examine the quality and safety of food available at small markets in the food desert environment and preliminary studies have found that small corner markets face unique challenges regarding infrastructure and refrigeration, etc. which may affect the quality and potential safety of perishable foods which they try to carry and sell. Finally, there is a growing body of research examining the safety of food from ethnic foodservice facilities through both foodborne illness outbreak data as well as employee food handling practices. These studies generally indicate that some ethnic foodservice facilities may present increased risks for foodborne illness. This review of the literature will examine all aspects of foodborne illness among, and food safety risks for, minority and low socioeconomic populations.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Predictive model for the growth kinetics of Listeria monocytogenes in raw pork as a function of temperature
Author: Hyun-Dong Paik
Affiliation: Konkuk University, Seoul, Korea; E-Mail: hdpaik@konkuk.ac.kr
Abstract: This study was performed to develop a growth predictive modeling of L. monocytogenes to ensure the safety of pork. Pork samples were collected from major retail outlets and the effect of temperature on the growth of food-borne pathogens was examined. The samples were inoculated with a cocktail of 2 L. monocytogenes strains and stored under different temperatures (5, 15, and 25°C). Growth data were evaluated using the MicroFit program. To develop primary models, we applied the observed data to the Baranyi and Gompertz model equations. We observed that the growth rate was dependent on temperature, and therefore, temperature was applied as factor in a secondary model for growth rate. During storage, the lag times (LT) for 5, 15, and 25°C were 173, 4.35, and 1.12 h and the growth rates were 0.05, 0.13, and 0.33 Log CFU/g/h, respectively. The mathematically predicted growth rate parameters were evaluated using the bias factor (Bf), accuracy factor (Af), and root mean square error (RMSE). The Baranyi model, which showed an R2 of 0.979 and RMSE of 0.192 was more suitable than the Gompertz model, which showed an R2 of 0.867 and RMSE of 0.490. At each temperature, the observed Bf values were 1.000, 1.053, and 1.043 and the Af values were 1.001, 1.061, and 1.059 by the Baranyi model, respectively. These values indicated that the developed models were dependable for expressing the growth of microorganisms on pork. We have developed a predictive modeling for growth of L. monocytogenes on pork, which could be applied to ensure the safety of meat and to establish standards to avoid microbial contamination of meat.

Type of Paper: Article
Title:
Can Probiotics and Prebiotics Improve the Environmental Microbiome and Alter the Resistome of Commercial Poultry Production?
Authors:
Adriana Pedroso, Andrea P. de Oliveira, Anne Hurley-Bacon, Andrea Sinclear, Tiffany Kwan, Jingrang Lu, Gloria Avellaneda, Charles L. Hofacre , Steve Collett, John J. Maurer, and Margie D. Lee
Affiliation:
Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center, Center for Food Safety, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30223, USA; E-Mail: mdoyle@uga.edu
Abstract:
Food animal production systems have become more consolidated and integrated, producing large, concentrated animal populations and their unwanted waste by-product.  Contamination of produce may be due to increasing use of manure and litter as a more “natural” or affordable source of fertilizer. In addition, human and animal manure has been identified as a significant source of antibiotic resistance genes thereby serving as a disseminator of resistance to soil and waterways. Therefore, identifying methods to remediate human and animal waste is critical in developing strategies to improve food safety and minimized antimicrobial resistance. In this study, high throughput sequencing paired with terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism was used to reveal the microbial community composition of poultry litter from birds that were administered streptogramin growth-promoting antibiotics, probiotics, or prebiotics. The prevalence of streptogramin resistance genes and class 1 integrons was determined from PCR screens of community DNA. There were no statistically significant changes (p = 0.29) in microbial community structure demonstrated by Shannon-Weaver diversity indices as a response to virginiamycin usage.  However, there were inter-farm differences in the presence or absence of major bacterial phylotypes identified by T-RFLP.  Streptogramin resistance genes vatA, vatB, and vatE, macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B resistance genes ermA and ermB, and tetracycline resistance gene tetM were present in the microbial community of poultry litter.  There was inter-farm variability in the distribution of vatA and vatE among litter microbiota, however, there were no statistically significant differences in their distribution with regards to streptogramin usage.  Diversity was higher in the litter when probiotics were administered but as the litter aged, diversity decreased. Differences in the abundance of Firmicutes and Actinobacteria were observed and abundance of pathogenic Clostridia species increased in aging litter despite the treatment. However, abundance of a poultry pathogen, Enterococcus cecorum decreased with time and treatment. These findings suggest that administering alternatives to antibiotics can change the litter bacterial composition and reduce the prevalence of some pathogenic bacteria that are important to human and veterinary medicine.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Review of Inactivation of Pathogenic Bacteria in Food by Plant Essential Oils and Oil Compounds
Author: Mendel Friedman and Carol Levin
Affiliation: United States Department of Agriculture, Albany, CA 94710, USA; E-Mail: Mendel.Friedman@ARS.USDA.GOV
Abstract: Interest in the use of plant essential oils (EOs) as natural and safe antimicrobial agents in foods has increased in recent years. To facilitate practical use, a need exists to integrate published studies on the factors that govern antimicrobial effects of EOs in laboratory media and in different food categories.  Considerations that are addressed include EO activities against target and non-target bacteria, relative efficacy, interactions with other food components which can enhance or interfere with bactericidal activity, effects of storage and packaging and food processing, delivery systems, concurrent beneficial or non-beneficial changes in the food products, and sensory aspects.  To help meet this need, this review surveys and interprets the extensive literature on antimicrobial effects of essential oils/oil components against foodborne pathogenic bacteria (Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella) in several food categories.  These include produce (fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens), liquid foods (fruit and vegetable juices, milks, egg-milk beverages, sauces, soft drinks, soups), cheeses, prepared foods (bread, chocolate), ground and unground meat and poultry, and seafood.  Further research needs in each of these areas are suggested.  The described findings are a resource for further progress to improve microbial food safety, food quality, and animal and human health.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Antimicrobial Effect of a Neem Cake Extract on Bacteria Affecting Meat quality
Author: Marcello Nicoletti
Affiliation: Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; E-Mail: marcello.nicoletti@uniroma1.it
Abstract: The increasing incidence of foodborne diseases, coupled with the resultant social and economic implications, causes a constant striving to produce safer feed and food as to develop new natural antimicrobial agents, in alternative to, or together with, the antibiotics actually in use. This work reports the antimicrobial activity of an ethylacetate extract of neem (Azadirachta indica) cake (NCE) against bacterial populations affecting quality of retail meat, namely Campylobacter jejuni, Carnobacterium spp., Lactobacillus curvatus, Lact. sakei and Leuconostoc sp. The antimicrobial activity was assayed on bacteria grown on appropriate solid and liquid media, as well on vacuum packed minced meat experimentally inoculated with the tested bacteria. NCE (100 µg) tested by agar disc diffusion method inhibited growth of all tested microorganisms in different amounts. The NCE growth inhibition zone (IZ) ranged 11.33÷22.67 mm while the ciprofloxacin (10 µg) IZ ranged 23.41÷32.67 mm. There was not significant difference (P < 0.05) between the antimicrobial activity of NCE and ciprofloxacin vs C. jejuni and Leuconostoc spp.  The NCE antibacterial activity was determined also at lower concentrations (1:10 ÷ 1:100,000) in micro-assays using sterile microplates of polystyrene as percent of bacterial growth reduction estimated against the control treatment without the antibiotic. The growth of all tested bacteria was inhibited. The percent growth reduction ranged 61±2.08÷92±3.21. The higher bacterial growth reduction was obtained at 10 µg concentration of NCE (89± 0.61÷ 92± 3.21). In addition, species-specific Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and multiplex PCR with the DNA dye propidium monoazide were used to detect viable bacterial cells from meat samples experimentally contaminated. The present study suggests that NCE displays antibacterial properties potentially useful to control foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms associated to retail fresh meat.

Type of Paper: Article
Title:
Scoping the Impact of Demographic Changes on the Future Burden of Foodborne Disease in The Netherlands, 2020-2060
Authors:
M. Bouwknegt1, W. Van Pelt1 and A.H. Havelaar1,2
Affiliations:
1 Centre for Infectious Disease Control Netherlands, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, the Netherlands 2 Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands E-Mail: arie.havelaar@rivm.nl
Abstract:
A demographic shift towards a larger proportion of elderly in the Dutch population in the coming decades might change foodborne disease incidence and mortality as compared to the current situation. Drivers for this change may include various factors, such as social clustering, changing health care and health care policies or differences in age-specific susceptibility to pathogens. In the current study we focused on the latter by combining age-specific demographic forecasts for 10-year periods between 2020 and 2060 with age-specific infection probabilities for Campylobacter spp., non-typhoidal Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, hepatitis A virus and Toxoplasma gondii. Disease incidence rates for four pathogens were estimated to change marginally, because increases and decreases in specific age groups cancelled out over all ages. For L. monocytogenes, incidence estimates doubled. Estimated mortality rates increased two-fold for Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria. This straightforward scoping effort does not suggest major changes based on demographic changes solely. Other factors as mentioned before, however, have not been included.

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