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Special Issue "Food Microbiology: The Past and the New Challenges"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2023 | Viewed by 5690

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Teresa Semedo-Lemsaddek
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CIISA - Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar em Sanidade Animal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida da Universidade Técnica, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: microbiology; food safety; foodborne pathogens; pathogenesis; antibiotic resistance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food production and distribution systems are becoming more interdependent, integrated, and globalized. At the same time, escalating and heavily publicized outbreaks of foodborne diseases continue to occur, and have raised awareness on the urgent need to ensure food quality and safety.

In spite of modern advances in traceability, authenticity and overall food safety, the need for improvement continues to be debated, not only regarding developing countries, but also for the industrialized world. Amelioration of economic losses due to food spoilage, lowering food processing costs and avoiding transmission of microbial pathogens through the food chain, while satisfying the growing consumer’s demands for foods that are ready-to-eat, fresh-tasting, nutrient and vitamin rich, minimally processed and preserved, are major challenges for the current millennium.

In this context, and keeping in mind the One Health concept, quality publications addressing “Food Microbiology: The Past and the New Challenges” constitute a compelling issue for stakeholders and investigators from the farm to the fork.

Dr. Teresa Semedo-Lemsaddek
Prof. Dr. David Rodríguez-Lázaro
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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 semimonthly 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 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food microbiology
  • safety
  • quality
  • authenticity
  • traceability
  • one health
  • from farm to fork

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Article
Assessment of the Microbiological Quality of Ready-to-Eat Salads—Are There Any Reasons for Concern about Public Health?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(3), 1582; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031582 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1355
Abstract
Ready-to-eat food products can be readily consumed without further preparation and are convenient for busy on-the-go consumers. The objective of the study was to assess the microbiological quality of ready-to-eat salads. Thirty RTE salads were tested for the presence of bacteria, yeasts, and [...] Read more.
Ready-to-eat food products can be readily consumed without further preparation and are convenient for busy on-the-go consumers. The objective of the study was to assess the microbiological quality of ready-to-eat salads. Thirty RTE salads were tested for the presence of bacteria, yeasts, and molds using the TEMPO and agar plate method. The study demonstrated that most of the tested products were characterized by varying microbiological quality. The total number of mesophilic microbiotas was about 6 log CFU g−1. The high number of microorganisms was due to yeast and molds or Enterobacteriaceae. Half of the salads were contaminated with E. coli and three salads were contaminated with S. aureus. LAB were also found, which can be explained mainly by a dairy ingredient. In some salads, Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes were detected (26.7% and 33.3% of the samples, respectively). Based on the conducted tests, it was found that the microbiological quality was not satisfactory. The results presented in this study indicate that there is a significant problem of the presence of pathogens. Manufacturers should strive to reduce the possibility of microbial contamination through the use of widely understood hygiene of the production process, using hurdle technology, including the modified atmosphere and refrigerated storage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology: The Past and the New Challenges)
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Article
Combined Effect of Temperature and Relative Humidity on the Survival of Salmonella Isolates on Stainless Steel Coupons
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 909; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020909 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 488
Abstract
The survival on stainless steel of ten Salmonella isolates from food factory, clinical and veterinary sources was investigated. Stainless steel coupons inoculated with Salmonella were dried and stored at a range of temperatures and relative humidity (RH) levels representing factory conditions. Viability was [...] Read more.
The survival on stainless steel of ten Salmonella isolates from food factory, clinical and veterinary sources was investigated. Stainless steel coupons inoculated with Salmonella were dried and stored at a range of temperatures and relative humidity (RH) levels representing factory conditions. Viability was determined from 1 to 22 days. Survival curves obtained for most isolates and storage conditions displayed exponential inactivation described by a log-linear model. Survival was affected by environmental temperatures and RH with decimal reduction times (DRTs) ranging from <1 day to 18 days. At 25 °C/15% RH, all isolates survived at levels of 103 to 105 cfu for >22 days. Furthermore, temperatures and RH independently influenced survival on stainless steel; increasing temperatures between 10 °C and 37 °C and increasing RH levels from 30–70% both decreased the DRT values. Survival curves displaying a shoulder followed by exponential death were obtained for three isolates at 10 °C/70% RH. Inactivation kinetics for these were described by modified Weibull models, suggesting that cumulative injury occurs before cellular inactivation. This study highlights the need to control temperature and RH to limit microbial persistence in the food manufacturing environment, particularly during the factory shut-down period for cleaning when higher temperature/humidity levels could be introduced. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology: The Past and the New Challenges)
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Article
Prevalence, Molecular Characterization and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Clostridioides difficile Isolated from Pig Carcasses and Pork Products in Central Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11368; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111368 - 29 Oct 2021
Viewed by 749
Abstract
In the last decade, the incidence and severity of Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) in humans have been increasing and community-associated infections have been described. For these reasons, the interest in C. difficile in food and in food animals has increased, suggesting other possible [...] Read more.
In the last decade, the incidence and severity of Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) in humans have been increasing and community-associated infections have been described. For these reasons, the interest in C. difficile in food and in food animals has increased, suggesting other possible sources of C. difficile acquisition. This study evaluated the presence of C. difficile on pig carcasses at the slaughterhouse and in pork products in Central Italy. The contamination rate on pig carcasses was 4/179 (2.3%). Regarding food samples, a total of 216 pork products were tested (74 raw meat preparations and 142 ready-to-eat food samples made by cured raw meat). The real-time PCR screening was positive for 1/74 raw meat preparation (1.35%) and for 1/142 ready-to-eat food samples (0.7%) C. difficile was isolated only from the raw meat preparation (pork sausage). All the isolated strains were toxigenic and susceptible to all the tested antibiotics. Strains isolated from carcass samples displayed A+B+CDTa+CDTb+ profile, were toxinotype IV and belonged to the same ribotype arbitrary named TV93, while the one isolated from food samples displayed A+B+CDTa-CDTb- profile and it was not possible to determine ribotype and toxinotype, because it was lost after freeze storage. It was concluded that the prevalence of C. difficile in the pork supply chain is very low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology: The Past and the New Challenges)
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Article
Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis Control in Poultry Litter Mediated by Lytic Bacteriophage Isolated from Swine Manure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8862; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168862 - 23 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1092
Abstract
We report the use of bacteriophages for control of Salmonella Enteritidis in poultry production. Phage was isolated by the double-agar plate assay from agricultural waste samples, and one isolate, named SM1, was selected and propagated for application in poultry litter. Two experimental protocols [...] Read more.
We report the use of bacteriophages for control of Salmonella Enteritidis in poultry production. Phage was isolated by the double-agar plate assay from agricultural waste samples, and one isolate, named SM1, was selected and propagated for application in poultry litter. Two experimental protocols were tested: single treatment and repeated treatment (re-application of phage SM1 after 6 h and 12 h). Each treatment cycle involved 25 g of poultry litter placed in plastic boxes and contaminated with 105 Colony Forming Units mL−1 (CFU mL−1) of S. Enteritidis, in independent duplicates. The contaminated litter was treated with 106 Plaque Forming Units mL−1 (PFU mL−1) of SM1 phage by dripping. Repeated application of phage SM1 reduced Salmonella counts by over 99.9%; the phage persisted in poultry litter for over 35 days. This study illustrates the application of SM1 treatment as a promising technology for bacterial control in production matrices that could allow safe and sustainable use of agricultural waste products as biofertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology: The Past and the New Challenges)
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Article
Heavy Metal Tolerance Trend in Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase Encoding Strains Recovered from Food Samples
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18094718 - 28 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1097
Abstract
This study evaluates bacteriological profiles in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods and assesses antibiotic resistance, extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production by gram-negative bacteria, and heavy metal tolerance. In total, 436 retail food samples were collected and cultured. The isolates were screened for ESBL production and molecular [...] Read more.
This study evaluates bacteriological profiles in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods and assesses antibiotic resistance, extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) production by gram-negative bacteria, and heavy metal tolerance. In total, 436 retail food samples were collected and cultured. The isolates were screened for ESBL production and molecular detection of ESBL-encoding genes. Furthermore, all isolates were evaluated for heavy metal tolerance. From 352 culture-positive samples, 406 g-negative bacteria were identified. Raw food samples were more often contaminated than refined food (84.71% vs. 76.32%). The predominant isolates were Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 76), Enterobacter cloacae (n = 58), and Escherichia coli (n = 56). Overall, the percentage of ESBL producers was higher in raw food samples, although higher occurrences of ESBL-producing E. coli (p = 0.01) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (p = 0.02) were observed in processed food samples. However, the prevalence of ESBL-producing Citrobacter freundii in raw food samples was high (p = 0.03). Among the isolates, 55% were blaCTX-M, 26% were blaSHV, and 19% were blaTEM. Notably, heavy metal resistance was highly prevalent in ESBL producers. These findings demonstrate that retail food samples are exposed to contaminants including antibiotics and heavy metals, endangering consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology: The Past and the New Challenges)
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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.

Title: Widespread Use of Enterobacteriaceae Bacteriocins: Food Industry to Medicine
Authors: Teresa Semedo Lemsaddek; et al.
Affiliation: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

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