Navigation Links
Food Safety Extension Specialist Provides Spinach E. coli Advice

AMES, Iowa -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert about a nationwide outbreak of E. coli traced to packaged spinach//. The alert advises consumers not to eat bagged fresh spinach at this time.

Sam Beattie, a food safety extension specialist and assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University, tells consumers that it's almost impossible to ensure that there will not be any pathogenic microorganisms on any raw agricultural product.

"Cut spinach and other packaged greens by their nature cannot be thermally processed to kill pathogens," he said. "Secondly, chemical inactivation of the pathogens is difficult because of the product. Lastly, control over the animals that overfly, graze, slither, crawl, and are otherwise naturally present in a field is impossible. The outbreak in question could have come from something as simple as deer excrement on or near the leaves of a plant. The actual feces may be washed off by rain, irrigation, or other means, but the contamination has occurred."

"We must face the reality that we live in a microbial ocean," Beattie said. "Microorganisms are literally everywhere, including on and inside of us and most of the food that we eat. Fortunately, most do not make us ill, however there are viruses, bacteria, and parasites that will do so. Bacteria are found in the soil in which the food is grown, in the water that it is irrigated with, in the feces and on the hands of those that harvest and handle it, animals that pass through and over the fields leave their waste, pests that eat it or live on it, containers that hold food during transit to processing, almost everywhere through processing."

Beattie urges consumers to remember that processing simply can't eliminate bacteria in fresh foods.

"Bacteria are tough to kill," he said. "During the growing and processing of pre-cut fruits or bagged leafy vegetables, there are several steps t hat are designed to reduce or eliminate many of the bacteria, but the processing steps must be mild enough to avoid destruction of the produce. So there may be some residual bacteria present on the food. If the food was contaminated by an illness causing bacteria or virus, like other organisms, they may not be completely eliminated by the processing. It is important to prevent these bacteria from growing."

He considers the entire food supply safe, and reports that pre-packaged foods are as safe as most other fresh foods. But it is important to look at how much handling of the fresh food occurs.

"More hand contact may increase the risk of fecal contamination of the food by the handler," he said. "Indeed, the leading cause of food borne illness is a virus that is transmitted by human stool contamination of the food. Also, temperature abuse of any fresh food will increase the potential for illness causing bacteria to grow. Cold is the key for pre-cut or bagged produce."

The specific strain of E. coli in the latest alert, 0157:H7, has been found in a variety of foods and locations, according to Beattie. He said it is generally associated with fecal contamination of soil, water, food, hands and environment, and in one case the air.

"Importantly, a person ill with O157 can easily contaminate others if proper hygiene is not followed. Hand-washing is critically important in working with ill people," he said.

Beattie reports that this strain of E coli seems to be particularly infectious; only 10 to 100 organisms may be needed to make a person ill. Initial symptoms include abdominal cramps and watery diarrhea. Fever usually does not occur.

"In most healthy adults the illness runs its course in about eight days," he said. "Young children and elderly may have very severe complications that include anemia and kidney failure, fever, and neurological issues. This is why it is so important to feed kids well c ooked meats and pasteurized juices."

Source-Newswise
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. New standards for Human Research Safety
2. Safety of soy under suspicion
3. The Safety Of Prenatal Ultrasounds Questioned
4. Report on the Safety and Effectiveness of Melatonin supplements
5. Monitoring Drug Safety
6. Safety Of Indian Sex Workers At Risk Due To Poor Condom Usage
7. Safety Of Heart Drug Questioned
8. Race Was Used To Determine Safety Of Blood
9. Patient Safety Forces Closure Of Hospital
10. Farm Boy Airlifted by PSNI helicopter To Safety
11. Strict Safety Measures On Import of Poultry From China
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the ... danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains ... a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly ... designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire ... support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: