Category Archives: Research

UK – Publication of survey of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria in chicken and pork

FSA

We have today published the results of a survey we commissioned to assess the amount of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria in fresh pork mince and fresh and frozen chicken on sale in shops in the UK. These findings will help to establish a baseline of the occurrence, types and levels of AMR in bacteria found in these UK retail meats which will inform future surveillance on AMR in these foods.

This survey follows on from an authoritative report by a group established by the Advisory Committee on Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) to advise us on research questions and potential approaches to AMR in the food chain.

The survey involved the testing of Campylobacter in chicken samples and Salmonella in pork mince samples for the occurrence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. The survey also looked for AMR in other bacteria in both types of meat including Enterococci, Klebsiella and Escherichia coli.  Read the final report of the survey.

Research -Don’t kill, but tame the bacteria

All About Feed

Producing broiler meat with the label ‘no antibiotics ever’ is becoming a common thing in the US. In the meantime, the poultry sector fears that this leads to a less efficient system, in which it is harder to control major poultry diseases. Luckily, a new set of savvy feed additives that keep bad bacteria under control is on its way.

Salmonella Campylobacter

Poultry production under the philosophy ‘no antibiotics ever’ (NAE), is spreading like a wild fire in the US and also in some other parts of the world. Although this sounds like a good development, and it is, it also comes with challenges, both from a nutritional standpoint as well as keeping the margins and being able to sell the products. At a recent first-annual summer international poultry symposium, organised by Amlan International, the challenges and solutions for poultry producers to produce under antibiotic free systems were discussed in further detail.

Research -Antibacterial Effect of Essential Oils against Spoilage Bacteria from Vacuum-Packed Cooked Cured Sausages

Journal of Food Protection

Nonfermented sausages, which have a pH of around 6.0, a low salt concentration, and high moisture with a water activity higher than 0.95, are highly perishable. In this study, culture-dependent techniques and 16S rDNA approaches were used to identify the presumptive spoilage lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in sliced vacuum-packed cooked sausage during storage at 4°C. The antibacterial properties of essential oils (EOs) from the medicinal plants Carum carvi, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Curcuma longa, Citrus medica, and Eugenia caryophyllata against isolated LAB were also investigated. A total of 106 colonies were obtained on de Man Rogosa Sharpe medium after storage of sausages samples, and 16 isolates were identified from conventional morphological analysis of the bacterial populations. DNA extraction and 16S rDNA analysis indicated that Lactobacillus curvatus, Weissella viridescens, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus dextrinicus, Lactobacillus sakei, and Pediococcus dextrinicus were the main spoilage LAB. The antibacterial properties of EOs against isolated LAB were indicated by inhibition zones on culture plates of 7.8 to 31 mm, depending on the susceptibility of the tested LAB strain. The MICs and MBCs of five EOs were determined. The most effective EO against the LAB was C. zeylanicum followed by C. carvi and C. medica, and the least effective EO was C. longa. The EO from C. zeylanicum had the highest antimicrobial activity (lowest MICs) against LAB, with EO MICs of 4.66 to 5.33 μL/mL. The most susceptible isolate was L. mesenteroides, with a MIC of 4.66 μL/mL for the C. zeylanicum EO. These data indicate that the EO from C. zeylanicum could be used as a natural preservative for vacuum-packed emulsion‐type sausage.

Research – Antibacterial Effect of Essential Oils against Spoilage Bacteria from Vacuum-Packed Cooked Cured Sausages

Journal of Food Protection

Nonfermented sausages, which have a pH of around 6.0, a low salt concentration, and high moisture with a water activity higher than 0.95, are highly perishable. In this study, culture-dependent techniques and 16S rDNA approaches were used to identify the presumptive spoilage lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in sliced vacuum-packed cooked sausage during storage at 4°C. The antibacterial properties of essential oils (EOs) from the medicinal plants Carum carvi, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Curcuma longa, Citrus medica, and Eugenia caryophyllata against isolated LAB were also investigated. A total of 106 colonies were obtained on de Man Rogosa Sharpe medium after storage of sausages samples, and 16 isolates were identified from conventional morphological analysis of the bacterial populations. DNA extraction and 16S rDNA analysis indicated that Lactobacillus curvatus, Weissella viridescens, Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus dextrinicus, Lactobacillus sakei, and Pediococcus dextrinicus were the main spoilage LAB. The antibacterial properties of EOs against isolated LAB were indicated by inhibition zones on culture plates of 7.8 to 31 mm, depending on the susceptibility of the tested LAB strain. The MICs and MBCs of five EOs were determined. The most effective EO against the LAB was C. zeylanicum followed by C. carvi and C. medica, and the least effective EO was C. longa. The EO from C. zeylanicum had the highest antimicrobial activity (lowest MICs) against LAB, with EO MICs of 4.66 to 5.33 μL/mL. The most susceptible isolate was L. mesenteroides, with a MIC of 4.66 μL/mL for the C. zeylanicum EO. These data indicate that the EO from C. zeylanicum could be used as a natural preservative for vacuum-packed emulsion‐type sausage.

Research – Crowdsourcing friendly bacteria helps superbug cause infection

Science Daily Staphylococcus

Antimicrobial resistant pathogens crowdsource friendly bacteria to survive in immune cells and cause disease, a new study by the University of Sheffield has revealed.


Scientists have discovered the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus), uses benign bacteria present in the skin to initiate infection.

Known commonly as its infamous antimicrobial resistant form MRSA (meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), the ground-breaking research discovered that by using the other bacteria present on the skin, the pathogen can survive the mechanisms our immune system deploys to destroy it.

The findings, published today (16 July 2018) in Nature Microbiology, give scientists a new insight into the mechanisms of the so-called superbug, which is hard to treat due to its resistance to several widely used antibiotics.

Research- A CULTURE OF FOOD SAFETY A POSITION PAPER FROM THE GLOBAL FOOD SAFETY INITIATIVE (GFSI)

GFSI

This short document is based on the content of the GFSI full position paper “a culture of food safety”. It includes the key definitions and a short description of the dimensions and critical components of food safety culture developed in the full paper. This may herefore be a helpful aide-memoire.

Crucially, the full paper places emphasis on:

1. The essential role of leaders and managers throughout an organisation, from CEO to farm, field and shop floor supervisors, from local ‘Mom and Pop’ grocery stores to large franchise restaurant organisations.

2. Why regular communication, education, metrics, teamwork and personal accountability are vital to advancing a food safety culture.

3. How learned skills including adaptability and hazard awareness move important safe food practices beyond a theoretical conversation to live in “real time.”

 

Research – Kitchen Towel As Risk Factor for Home Based Food Poisoning

Abstracts Online

Background: Cross contamination in the kitchen could contribute to home-based food poisoning. This study aimed at investigating the potential role of kitchen towels in cross contamination in the kitchen. Methods: A total of 100 kitchen towels were collected after one month of use. The bacteria were cultured and identified by standard biochemical tests. A questionnaire was also designed to investigate the potential risk factors which could affect the result. Results:  Bacterial growth was found in 49% of the kitchen towels and significantly increased by size of family, extended family and presence on children. Multipurpose towels had higher CFU than single use towels (1.31 x 107 vs 6.60 x 104; p<0.05) and humid towels had higher CFU than dry ones (4.8 x 105 vs 0.5x 105; p<0.05). The mean CFU from the towels was found to be 2.76 x 105 and was significantly higher from the cotton towels (4.98 x 105) compared to the nylon (1.64 x 105) and mixture of both towels (1.89 x 105). Out of the 49 samples which were positive for bacterial growth, 36.7% grew coliforms, 36.7% Enterococcus spp., 30.6% Pseudomonas spp., 28.6% grew Bacillus spp., 14.3% S. aureus, 4.1% Proteus spp., 2.0% coagulase negative Staphylococcus. Furthermore, S. aureus was isolated at higher rate from families of lower socio-economic status (p<0.05) and those with children (p<0.05). The risk of having coliforms was twice on humid towels than the dried ones. It was also noted that as the CFU increased, the detection rate of coliform, Enterococcus spp., Proteus spp. and Bacillus spp. also increased significantly. Furthermore, Enterococcus spp. and S. aureus were isolated at higher prevalence in bigger families (p<0.05). Diet was also found to be an important factor. Coliform and S. aureus were detected at significantly higher prevalence from families on non-vegetarian diets while a higher prevalence of Enterococcus species from the kitchen towels of vegetarian families. Conclusions: This study conclude that kitchen towels could be very important source bacterial contamination which could contribute to food poisoning. The multipurpose usage of kitchen towels should be discouraged.