Category Archives: Faecal Streptpcocci

Research – Enhanced antimicrobial effectiveness of synergistic mixtures of rambutan peel extract and cinnamon essential oil on food spoilage bacteria and bio-based food packaging

Wiley Online


This research aims to enhance antimicrobial activity of rambutan peel extract (RPE), by mixing with cinnamon essential oil (CEO). The mixture of RPE and CEO with different weight ratios (10:0, 9:1, 8:2, 7:3, 6:4, 5:5, 4:6, 3:7, 2:8, 1:9, and 0:10) had been prepared and the antimicrobial efficacy was tested. Nine strains of bacteria: Gram-positive bacteria (Bacillus sp., Enterococcus faecalisLeuconostoc sp., Micrococcus luteusStaphylococcus aureus, and Streptococcus sp.) and Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coliPseudomonas fluorescens, and Salmonella typhimurium) were selected as the representative of pathogenic and food spoilage bacteria. Mixing RPE with CEO in a ratio of 5:5 showed the best synergistic effect against those bacteria. Addition of RPE/CEO in a weight ratio of 5:5 improved the antimicrobial activity of whey protein isolated (WPI) films, and enhanced strength, stiffness, and water resistance of the film.

Research – Characterization of bacteria and antibiotic resistance in commercially-produced cheeses sold in China

Journal of Food Protection

The consumption of cheese in China is increasing rapidly. Little is known about the microbiota, the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or the distribution of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in commercially-produced cheeses sold in China. These are important criteria for evaluating quality and safety. Thus, this study assessed the metagenomics of fifteen types of cheese using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Fourteen bacterial genera were detected. Lactococcus , Lactobacillus , and Streptococcus were dominant based on numbers of sequence reads. Multidrug-resistant lactic acid bacteria were isolated from most of the types of cheese. The isolates showed 100% and 91.7% resistance to streptomycin and sulfamethoxazole, respectively, and genes involved in acquired resistance to streptomycin ( strB) and sulfonamides ( sul2) were detected with high frequency. To analyze the distribution of ARGs in the cheeses in overall, 309 ARGs from eight categories of ARG and nine transposase genes were profiled. A total of 169 ARGs were detected in the 15 cheeses; their occurrence and abundance varied significantly between cheeses. Our study demonstrates that there is various diversity of the bacteria and ARGs in cheeses sold in China. The risks associated with multidrug resistance of dominant lactic acid bacteria are of great concern.

Singapore – Tilapia linked to Streptococcus outbreak in Singapore

The Fish Site

Tilapia have been linked to an outbreak of Streptococcus, which affected 146 people in Singapore, prompting the FAO to issue a “risk profile report” to raise awareness of the threat.

In 2015, around 146 people became ill after eating a traditional raw freshwater fish dish in Singapore, with several people eventually having to have limbs amputated. It turns out that they had developed blood poisoning linked to a bacterium called Streptococcus agalactiae, also called Group B Streptococcus (SBS). The specific strain responsible for the outbreak was a unique sequence type 283 (ST283). A four-page factsheet, Invasive disease linked to raw freshwater fish, has just been made available, as has a more comprehensive Risk profile – Group B Streptococcus (GBS) – Streptococcus agalactiae sequence type (ST) 283 in freshwater fish.

Dr Tim Barkham, an associate professor at Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore, first identified the human health risk. “Many microbiologists were surprised, as invasive GBS disease in people has not been known to be foodborne previously,” he said.

Research – Detection of pathogenic bacteria and fungi on biometric surface of Automated Teller Machines located in Brazilian public hospital

Academic Journals

The Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is used by millions of people as an alternative to gain time instead of using traditional banking systems in Brazil and ATMs are frequently localized in São Paulo city around the hospitals. However, ATMs might be potential devices for microbial accumulation and transmission in the community. The objective of the present study was to evaluate forty-two ATMs, in two hospital areas (A and B) in São Paulo city for the presence of pathogenic fungi and bacteria. Samples were collected from biometric surfaces of the devices with sterile cotton swabs soaked in the sterile physiologic saline and were cultured on selective agar for yeasts, filamentous fungi and bacteria in the period of January 2017 to March 2018. Complementary biochemical tests were applied to confirm the bacteria and the taxonomic identification of molds was performed considering the morphological characteristics by microscopic observation. Our results suggest that the biometric surfaces in ATMs is an important environmental source of microbes, once that the genera Staphylococcus was predominant in all agencies of both hospital areas (83.3%), following of Streptococcus spp. (57%) and Enterococcus spp. (50%). The group of Enterobacteriaceae (Gram negative bacilli) were most frequent in both areas studied (57%). Seven different fungi genera were isolated from ATMs in area A and B and yeasts were predominant in all samples collected (47%), comparing with filamentous fungi (23%). We conclude that biometric ATM surfaces play an important role in microbial transmission in hospital settings, and healthcare professionals should wash and disinfect their hands carefully before touching patients.


Research -Identification and Spoilage Potential of the Remaining Dominant Microbiota on Food Contact Surfaces after Cleaning and Disinfection in Different Food Industries

Journal of Food Protection

After cleaning and disinfection (C&D), surface contamination can still be present in the production environment of food companies. Microbiological contamination on cleaned surfaces can be transferred to the manufactured food and consequently lead to foodborne illness and early food spoilage. However, knowledge about the microbiological composition of residual contamination after C&D and the effect of this contamination on food spoilage is lacking in various food sectors. In this study, we identified the remaining dominant microbiota on food contact surfaces after C&D in seven food companies and assessed the spoilage potential of the microbiota under laboratory conditions. The dominant microbiota on surfaces contaminated at ≥102 CFU/100 cm2 after C&D was identified based on 16S rRNA sequences. The ability of these microorganisms to hydrolyze proteins, lipids, and phospholipids, ferment glucose and lactose, produce hydrogen sulfide, and degrade starch and gelatin also was evaluated. Genera that were most abundant among the dominant microbiota on food contact surfaces after C&D were Pseudomonas, Microbacterium, Stenotrophomonas, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. Pseudomonas spp. were identified in five of the participating food companies, and 86.8% of the isolates evaluated had spoilage potential in the laboratory tests. Microbacterium and Stenotrophomonas spp. were identified in five and six of the food companies, respectively, and all tested isolates had spoilage potential. This information will be useful for food companies in their quest to characterize surface contamination after C&D, to identify causes of microbiological food contamination and spoilage, and to determine the need for more thorough C&D.


Research – Microbiological risk assessment and simple cost‐effective ways to reduce the risk in bulk food bags manufacturing company

Wiley Online Library


This study was conducted to evaluate the microbial risk associated in bulk food bags manufacturing facilities and its cost‐effective way to minimize the risk. Swab samples from each step of manufacturing process was collected and microbiological analysis was done. Results showed that the bulk food bags manufacturing process was grossly contaminated with multiple types of bacteria. Moderate number of total aerobic bacteria (≤3.68 log cfu/unit), coliform (≤3.63 log cfu/unit), fecal coliform (1.0–1.25 log cfu/unit), Staphylococcus spp. count (≤3.6 log cfu/unit) was recorded in worker’s hand gloves and different sections of the whole production facility. Although no Escherichia coli or Salmonella spp. was detected, enrichment culture study detected Streptococcus spp., and fecal Streptococcus spp. in some swabs and hand gloves samples. Other than UV treatment alone, washing the hand gloves with calcinated calcium (CCa; 0.02%) followed by drying under UV light, and UV light in finished product storage room, and sanitizing the floor surfaces with 0.02% CCa, was able to significantly reduce (1.0–3.68 log cfu/unit) or eliminate the bacterial contaminants from hand gloves, finished products, and floor surfaces. This simple treatment was seen to minimize the risks of microbial contamination in the bulk food bags manufacturing facilities.

Practical applications

Flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs) are used by various industrial sectors like agriculture, chemicals, and pharmaceutical, but one of the largest users of FIBC bags is the food industry. Transporting and storing food is tougher to do than any other product. The food companies are constantly in search of ways to maximize profits while cutting costs and conserving space. FIBC bags have helped thousands of businesses around the world to achieve this goal. On the other hand, reducing risks from microbial contamination is an essential part of every food manufacturer’s responsibility to protect both its customers and its business. The cost‐effective and simple methods described in this study will be applicable in the bulk food bags manufacturing facilities worldwide to ensure the quality and safety of the food.

RASFF Alerts – Hepatitis A Oysters and Berries- ASP in Scallops- Enterococci in Dessciated Coconut

RASFF – Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) toxins in chilled scallops from France

RASFF – Hepatitis A virus in chilled oysters from France and the Netherlands

RASFF – Hepatitis A virus in frozen berry mix from Italy, with raw material from Bulgaria in Italy

RASFF – Faecal streptococci (17000 CFU/g) in desiccated coconut from Indonesia, via Malaysia in Italy