Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Leaf Age May Contribute To Contamination Of Lettuce With E. Coli And Salmonella

Date:
April 28, 2008
Source:
American Society for Microbiology
Summary:
A new study presents the first evidence that harmful pathogens frequently linked with food-borne illnesses are more commonly found on younger inner leaves than on older outer leaves of romaine lettuce. Lettuce is the fresh produce item most commonly implicated in epidemics of food-borne illness, while Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica are the most frequently attributed bacterial agents.

A new study presents the first evidence that harmful pathogens frequently linked with food-borne illnesses are more commonly found on younger inner leaves than on older outer leaves of romaine lettuce. The researchers from the Produce Safety and Microbiology Research Unity, Albany, California and the University of California, Berkley report their findings in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is the fresh produce item most commonly implicated in epidemics of food-borne illness, while Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica are the most frequently attributed bacterial agents. Although previous studies have focused on E. coli O157:H7 colonization on cut or shredded lettuce leaves, little is known of its ability to colonize whole lettuce leaves in both pre- and post-harvest environments.

In the study researchers investigated the growth of E. coli O157:H7 and S. enterica on romaine lettuce leaves both pre- and post-harvest. The increased population size of E. coli O157:H7 on young lettuce plants ranged from 16- to 100-fold in the presence of warm temperatures and free water on the leaves.

The increase in population size also varied significantly with leaf age, however the colonization was consistently 10-fold higher on the young (inner) leaves than on the middle leaves. Growth rates of S. enterica were found to be similarly leaf age dependent. Both bacterial pathogens also displayed higher population rates on younger leaves than on middle leaves harvested from mature lettuce heads.

"Our results indicate that leaf age and nitrogen content contribute to shaping the bacterial communities of preharvest and postharvest lettuce and that young lettuce leaves may be associated with a greater risk of contamination with E. coli O157:H7.

Journal reference: M.T. Brandl, R. Amundson. 2008. Leaf age as a risk factor in contamination of lettuce with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 74. 8: 2298-2306.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

American Society for Microbiology. "Leaf Age May Contribute To Contamination Of Lettuce With E. Coli And Salmonella." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080425103338.htm>.
American Society for Microbiology. (2008, April 28). Leaf Age May Contribute To Contamination Of Lettuce With E. Coli And Salmonella. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 3, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080425103338.htm
American Society for Microbiology. "Leaf Age May Contribute To Contamination Of Lettuce With E. Coli And Salmonella." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080425103338.htm (accessed September 3, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 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:
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