Nonculturable Response of Animal Enteropathogens in the Agricultural Environment and Implications for Food Safety.
Dinu, L.-D., Delaquis, P.J., and Bach, S.J. (2009). "Nonculturable Response of Animal Enteropathogens in the Agricultural Environment and Implications for Food Safety.", Journal of Food Protection, 72(6), pp. 1342-1354.
Concerns about animal enteropathogen contamination of fresh horticultural products have increased worldwide and are mainly due to the ability of bacteria to survive under stress conditions in the agricultural environment and during raw-vegetable processing. This review challenges the idea that the viable but nonculturable phenomenon that has been proven to occur in plant-associated environments contributes to human pathogen survival and might be correlated with foodborne infection. Factors associated with the nonculturable response of bacteria in the field and during postharvest processing and distribution are discussed, specifically for the most common animal enteropathogens linked with the consumption of raw products: Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Shigella spp. The accurate detection of live bacterial populations is essential for pathogen screening in food and environmental safety control and in epidemiological analysis and may have to be considered for identification of critical control points at the time of food inspection.
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