Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More People Are Getting Sick From Eating Fresh Fruits

Date:
January 28, 2003
Source:
American Phytopathological Society
Summary:
Salmonella, E. coli, shigellosis, hepatitis A, and Norwalk -- these food-borne diseases can produce symptoms that run from the mild to life-threatening. The young and old are particularly vulnerable and while consumption of beef and poultry have been the most common sources of such infections, fresh fruits and vegetables are being increasingly implicated in such outbreaks. So much so, that plant disease scientists are now taking a closer look at this issue.

St. Paul, MN (January 27, 2003) -- Salmonella, E. coli, shigellosis, hepatitis A, and Norwalk -- these food-borne diseases can produce symptoms that run from the mild to life-threatening. The young and old are particularly vulnerable and while consumption of beef and poultry have been the most common sources of such infections, fresh fruits and vegetables are being increasingly implicated in such outbreaks. So much so, that plant disease scientists are now taking a closer look at this issue.

"Historically, human pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella have rarely been associated with plants, so plant disease scientists have not looked at them directly," says J.W. Buck, a plant pathologist at the University of Georgia. But that is changing, says Buck, as such incidences continue to increase.

Buck says there is no single reason why the number of reported produce-related outbreaks in the U.S. per year doubled between 1973-1987 and 1988-1992 and why they continue to rise. Possible explanations include the simple fact that we are eating more fruits and vegetables than ever before. But experts agree that there is more to it than that and that our food production practices likely bear some responsibility.

But identifying the exact point along the way, from field to grocery store, where a strawberry or head of lettuce, for example, might have become contaminated can be difficult, if not impossible. Unlike other commodities such as beef and chicken, which are rigorously inspected, methods to detect pathogens on fresh produce are less advanced and the sporadic nature of most contamination further limits the effectiveness of testing.

"Plant disease scientists know a lot about how other microorganisms interact with plants and the environment to create an outbreak," says Buck. "This same knowledge can be applied to human pathogens as well. An exchange of research tools and experiences between plant pathologists and food microbiologists could result in tremendous advances towards managing food-borne diseases related to produce consumption."

According to Buck, one impediment to this kind of research, however, is that plant pathology laboratories currently lack the appropriate facilities for working with human pathogens, which are considered biosafety hazards. Until such changes can be made, says Buck, plant pathology models and practices, such as integrated pest management, that have worked well in controlling other plant diseases would likely work in helping to minimize the risk of human disease as well. Says Buck, "No doubt plant disease scientists can, and should, play a more significant role in food safety issues in the future."

The microbiological safety of fruits and vegetables is the subject of this month's APS feature story and can be found at APS website at: http://www.apsnet.org . The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a non-profit, professional scientific organization dedicated to the study and control of plant disease with 5,000 members worldwide.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Phytopathological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Phytopathological Society. "More People Are Getting Sick From Eating Fresh Fruits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030128080057.htm>.
American Phytopathological Society. (2003, January 28). More People Are Getting Sick From Eating Fresh Fruits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030128080057.htm
American Phytopathological Society. "More People Are Getting Sick From Eating Fresh Fruits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/01/030128080057.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins