Research conducted in 2010 found that Listeria monocytogenes was not predominantly spread by water and chicken manure, two common farm inputs in Australian vegetable farming. It is however more prevalent in summer and in particular in Victoria.
Silage and baled hay produced high numbers of L. monocytogenes which are fed to and ingested by ruminants (cows, sheep, goats). This issue with this feed is that it passes through the animals usually without causing infection to them and becomes trapped within dust when the faeces become dry in hot weather.
The dust carrying the L. monocytogenes can then settle on and contaminate vegetables after being blown large distances by strong winds. Leafy vegetables (eg. curly parsley) can trap dust more effectively and show higher levels of detection than smooth leaf vegetables, such as cos lettuce.
A project recommendation is that intensive livestock operations (feedlots) and grazing cattle, sheep and goats should be kept as far from vegetable production as possible and particularly in the direction of prevailing summer winds.
The theme of this year’s Fresh Produce Safety Conference, hosted by the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand in Sydney last week was ‘Food Safety: It’s Your Responsibility’.
Bringing together over 150 leading food producers and manufacturers, packers, distributors and retailers, students and researchers, the event confirmed food safety and compliance as top priorities for the industry. Read more
‘The role of food safety staff must go beyond compliance and keeping the regulatory guys happy,’ said Suresh DeCosta, Director of Food Safety, Lipman Family Farms (USA) and Technical Committee, Center for Produce Safety (USA), at the 5th Annual Fresh Produce Safety Conference in Sydney last week.
The number of deaths from the 2017 listeriosis outbreak in South Africa reached 216, making it the most lethal outbreak in history. The source was cured meats.
On a much smaller scale, Australia recently experienced lethal outbreaks traced to cheese and rockmelons. While the number of recorded hospitalised cases in Australia is low – around 70 a year – Listeria continues to be a major problem for the food industry, and a priority theme for the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand.
Microbiologist Dr Robert Premier explained there are 17 species of Listeria but most are harmless and only two are implicated in human infections. Read more
ABC News: A Darwin-based researcher with the University of Queensland is hoping that our culture of obsessive food documentation — foodporn — will eventually improve prevention of a widespread gastrointestinal disease.
Food Safety News: Research, published Monday in the journal Nature, reports DNA analysis has unmasked Salmonella enterica bacteria as the cause of a 16th century epidemic that affected large parts of Mexico and wiped out an estimated 800,000 people in the Aztec Empire.
Read the full article at the Food Safety News website
Fresh Plaza: [Cold plasma] has the capacity to kill microbial pathogens on the surface of fresh produce and nuts without leaving any chemical residues. Other spoilage-causing moulds can also be suppressed, offering a longer shelf-life and reduced food waste.
Read the full article at the Fresh Plaza website
HORT FRONTIERS / SUPERCHARGED AIR TECHNOLOGY from Hort Innovation on Vimeo.
UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center: As a global resource, the UC Postharvest Technology Center website is visited over 3 million times a year and contains more than 660 pages and 750 documents with postharvest information and related resources.
The Packer: Consumers are much more concerned about raw chicken and raw beef being contaminated than raw fruits and vegetables, according to a new food safety survey.
1 September 2016
Event co-hosted by the Centre for Infectious Diseases & Microbiology - Public Health (CIDM-PH) and the Marie Bashir Institute (MBI)