Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lettuce, Leafy Greens And E. Coli

Date:
September 7, 2007
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
The rise in year-round consumption of fresh leafy greens such as lettuce and baby spinach is increasing the difficulty of keeping produce free from contamination by food poisoning bacteria, according to scientists.

Baby spinach salad leaves.
Credit: iStockphoto

The rise in year-round consumption of fresh leafy greens such as lettuce and baby spinach is increasing the difficulty of keeping produce free from contamination by food poisoning bacteria, according to scientists.

"The only land suitable for supplying this abundance of year-round, high quality, fresh leafy vegetables, which are eaten raw by large populations in Europe and the United States, is in special geographic regions, with ideal soil and climate conditions", says Robert Mandrell from the US Department of Agriculture's Research Service in Albany, California.

This move to the year-round supply of leafy vegetables has required new methods to clean, package and deliver rapidly these fragile food items across large distances to consumers in many parts of the world. These include harvesting mowers for some leafy greens, processing in water flumes and triple washing, and modified atmosphere packaging for extended shelf-life.

Recent food scares and food poisoning outbreaks have led to intensive investigations of farms and ranches. These have shown that at least some food poisoning bacteria outbreaks have been due to field contamination before the greens are even harvested.

"This situation complicates strategies for eliminating illnesses and outbreaks due to the complex ecosystem of multiple potential sources, such as water, wildlife, and nearby livestock, all of which could be sources of bacteria causing food poisoning", says Robert Mandrell.

Following wide media coverage of outbreaks caused by E. coli in leafy vegetables and Salmonella in tomatoes, the US fresh produce industry and federal and state agencies are trying to address the microbial food safety of leafy greens and other vegetables. Major US produce industry associations have worked together to establish a marketing agreement, a set of food safety guidelines (metrics) for growers to produce and harvest leafy greens, and have increased funding for research.

Probably, a convergence of unusual events is required for very large outbreaks to occur, a factor everyone is hoping will not affect 2007 harvests. Logical theories about pre-harvest contamination provide points for study, but no definitive conclusions about the most recent outbreaks can be provided. Fresh, minimally processed leafy greens are here to stay, if the industry continues to work hard to re-establish consumer confidence.

Dr Mandrell is presenting the paper 'Fresh leafy greens and Escherichia coli O157:H7: outbreaks, incidence in the environment, source-tracking' at 0945 on Monday 03 September 2007 in the Microbial Infection Group session of the 161st Meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, 03 - 06 September 2007.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Lettuce, Leafy Greens And E. Coli." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070902193834.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2007, September 7). Lettuce, Leafy Greens And E. Coli. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070902193834.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Lettuce, Leafy Greens And E. Coli." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070902193834.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
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