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.

Related Articles


"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 March 31, 2015 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 March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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