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Posts from the ‘Research News’ Category

USA: Researchers confirm flies can transfer E. coli from feedlots to produce fields

 

Along with feedlot dust blowing in the wind and surface irrigation water flowing adjacent to feedlots, flies captured in leafy greens plots near feedlots are capable of transferring E. coli from animal operations to produce fields.

Set for publication in August in the “Journal of Food Protection,” new research from a team of experts links contamination of leafy greens with E. coli from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), also referred to as feedlots, via “pest flies.”  

“Most fly isolates were the same predominant pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types found in feedlot surface manure and leafy greens, suggesting a possible role for flies in transmitting E. coli O157:H7 to the leafy greens,” according to the research abstract.

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Reducing listeria contamination from salad vegetables

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.

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Food safety conference delivers key learnings to the fresh produce industry

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

Listeria in fresh produce. Are we any the wiser?

‘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

AU: Foodporn helps researcher hungry for data to curb gastro disease Campylobacter

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.

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US: New DNA technique suggests Salmonella took out the Aztecs

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

AU: Cold plasma used to kill pathogens on fresh produce

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.

 

US: UC Davis launches produce fact sheets app

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.

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US: Meat, not fresh produce, raises consumer food safety concerns

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.

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AU: “Foodborne diseases: changing epidemiology and disease control” research symposium

1 September 2016

Event co-hosted by the Centre for Infectious Diseases & Microbiology - Public Health (CIDM-PH) and the Marie Bashir Institute (MBI)

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