Special Issue "Food Microbiology and Safety"

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A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2013)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Malik Altaf Hussain

Department of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences, Lincoln University, New Zealand
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food microbiology is an important part of food sciences. Recent developments in food biotechnology and improvements in food safety/quality are two major witnesses of enhanced role of this discipline. Food and food additives production, avoiding spoilage of food, and detection and prevention of foodborne diseases are major areas of its application.

Concept of “from farm to fork” is generally perceived as a simple food supply chain description. In reality it exposes food products to several hazards that increase chances of contamination in a food system i.e., production and supply. Modern food system is getting more complex, which encompasses high volume of processed foods and vast international food trade. There is no foodborne illnesses free zone in the world. Therefore, proper understanding of foodborne pathogens and factors that impact their growth, survival and pathogenesis would equip us with tools to ensure global food safety.

Contents Coverage

This special issue aims to publish original research papers, innovative application results, technical articles, opinions, and reviews on different aspects of food microbiology and safety, including but not limited to:

• Food microorganisms
• Food biotechnology
• Food microbes and health
• Foodborne illnesses
• Food safety
• Food contamination
• Microbiological risk assessment of foods
• Risk analysis of the food supply chain
• Social and economic implications of food contamination
• Microbiology food safety management

Dr. Malik A. Hussain
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

• food microbes
• food safety
• food biotechnology
• foodborne pathogens
• food laws

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessEditorial Global Food Safety—International Consumers’ Rights?
Foods 2013, 2(4), 460-461; doi:10.3390/foods2040460
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 8 October 2013 / Accepted: 10 October 2013 / Published: 11 October 2013
PDF Full-text (124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Your submissions to this Special Issue “Food Microbiology and Safety” of Foods—a new open access journal—are welcome. We understand there are no foodborne illness-free zones in the world. Therefore, a proper understanding of foodborne pathogens and the factors that impact their growth,
[...] Read more.
Your submissions to this Special Issue “Food Microbiology and Safety” of Foods—a new open access journal—are welcome. We understand there are no foodborne illness-free zones in the world. Therefore, a proper understanding of foodborne pathogens and the factors that impact their growth, survival and pathogenesis would equip us with tools to ensure global food safety. This Special Issue publishes articles on different aspects of food microbiology and safety. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology and Safety)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Other

Open AccessArticle Eggs and Poultry Purchase, Storage, and Preparation Practices of Consumers in Selected Asian Countries
Foods 2014, 3(1), 110-127; doi:10.3390/foods3010110
Received: 30 October 2013 / Revised: 19 December 2013 / Accepted: 2 January 2014 / Published: 16 January 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (439 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study was to begin characterizing purchase, storage, handling, and preparation of poultry products and eggs by selected consumers in three Asian countries: India, Korea, and Thailand. Approximately 100 consumers in each location were recruited to participate in this study.
[...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to begin characterizing purchase, storage, handling, and preparation of poultry products and eggs by selected consumers in three Asian countries: India, Korea, and Thailand. Approximately 100 consumers in each location were recruited to participate in this study. The consumers were surveyed about eggs and poultry purchase behavior characteristics, such as temperatures and locations, storage behavior, such as storage locations in the refrigerator or freezer, preparation behavior, such as washing eggs and poultry before cooking, and handling behavior, such as using cutting boards during cooking. The results indicated differences in purchase and storage practices of raw eggs. Most Korean consumers purchased refrigerated eggs and stored the eggs in the refrigerator, while Indian and Thai consumers bought eggs that were stored at room temperature, but would refrigerate the eggs at home. Approximately half of the consumers in each country froze raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Food preparation practices showed potential for cross-contamination during cooking, such as using the same cutting board for different kinds of foods or not washing hands with soap and water. The results presented in this pilot study may lead to development of educational messages and raising consumer awareness of food safety practices in Asian countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology and Safety)
Open AccessArticle Molecular Typing of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli Isolated from Various Retail Meats by MLST and PFGE
Foods 2014, 3(1), 82-93; doi:10.3390/foods3010082
Received: 2 December 2013 / Revised: 24 December 2013 / Accepted: 2 January 2014 / Published: 8 January 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (377 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Campylobacter species are one of the leading causes of foodborne disease in the United States. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are the two main species of concern to human health and cause approximately 95% of human infections. Molecular typing methods, such as pulsed-field
[...] Read more.
Campylobacter species are one of the leading causes of foodborne disease in the United States. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are the two main species of concern to human health and cause approximately 95% of human infections. Molecular typing methods, such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST) are often used to source track foodborne bacterial pathogens. The aim of the present study was to compare PFGE and MLST in typing strains of C. jejuni and C. coli that were isolated from different Oklahoma retail meat sources. A total of 47 Campylobacter isolates (28 C. jejuni and 19 C. coli) isolated from various retail meat samples (beef, beef livers, pork, chicken, turkey, chicken livers, and chicken gizzards) were subjected to pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). PFGE was able to group the 47 Campylobacter isolates into two major clusters (one for C. jejuni and one for C. coli) but failed to differentiate the isolates according to their source. MLST revealed 21 different sequence types (STs) that belonged to eight different clonal complexes. Twelve of the screened Campylobacter isolates (8 C. jejuni and 4 C. coli) did not show any defined STs. All the defined STs of C. coli isolates belonged to ST-828 complex. The majority of C. jejuni isolates belonged to ST-353, ST-607, ST-52, ST-61, and ST-21 complexes. It is worthy to mention that, while the majority of Campylobacter isolates in this study showed STs that are commonly associated with human infections along with other sources, most of the STs from chicken livers were solely reported in human cases. In conclusion, retail meat Campylobacter isolates tested in this study particularly those from chicken livers showed relatedness to STs commonly associated with humans. Molecular typing, particularly MLST, proved to be a helpful tool in suggesting this relatedness to Campylobacter human isolates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology and Safety)
Open AccessArticle Development and Piloting of a Food Safety Audit Tool for the Domestic Environment
Foods 2013, 2(4), 572-584; doi:10.3390/foods2040572
Received: 31 October 2013 / Revised: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
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Abstract
Research suggests that consumers often mishandle food in the home based on survey and observation studies. There is a need for a standardized tool for researchers to objectively evaluate the prevalence and identify the nature of food safety risks in the domestic environment.
[...] Read more.
Research suggests that consumers often mishandle food in the home based on survey and observation studies. There is a need for a standardized tool for researchers to objectively evaluate the prevalence and identify the nature of food safety risks in the domestic environment. An audit tool was developed to measure compliance with recommended sanitation, refrigeration and food storage conditions in the domestic kitchen. The tool was piloted by four researchers who independently completed the inspection in 22 homes. Audit tool questions were evaluated for reliability using the κ statistic. Questions that were not sufficiently reliable (κ < 0.5) or did not provide direct evidence of risk were revised or eliminated from the final tool. Piloting the audit tool found good reliability among 18 questions, 6 questions were revised and 28 eliminated, resulting in a final 24 question tool. The audit tool was able to identify potential food safety risks, including evidence of pest infestation (27%), incorrect refrigeration temperature (73%), and lack of hot water (>43 °C, 32%). The audit tool developed here provides an objective measure for researchers to observe and record the most prevalent food safety risks in consumer’s kitchens and potentially compare risks among consumers of different demographics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology and Safety)
Open AccessArticle Determination of Listeria monocytogenes Growth during Mushroom Production and Distribution
Foods 2013, 2(4), 544-553; doi:10.3390/foods2040544
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 18 November 2013 / Accepted: 25 November 2013 / Published: 27 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (139 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the EU, food is considered safe with regard to Listeria monocytogenes if its numbers do not exceed 100 CFU/g throughout the shelf-life of the food. Therefore, it is important to determine if a food supports growth of L. monocytogenes. Challenge studies
[...] Read more.
In the EU, food is considered safe with regard to Listeria monocytogenes if its numbers do not exceed 100 CFU/g throughout the shelf-life of the food. Therefore, it is important to determine if a food supports growth of L. monocytogenes. Challenge studies to determine the ability of a food to support growth of L. monocytogenes are essential as predictive modelling often overestimates the growth ability of L. monocytogenes. The aim of this study was to determine if growth of L. monocytogenes was supported during the production and distribution of mushrooms. A three-strain mixture of L. monocytogenes was inoculated onto three independent batches of whole mushrooms, sliced mushrooms, mushroom casing and mushroom substrate at a concentration of about 100–1000 CFU/g. The batches were incubated at potential abuse temperatures, as a worst case scenario, and at intervals during storage L. monocytogenes numbers, % moisture and pH were determined. The results showed that the sliced and whole mushrooms had the ability to support growth, while mushroom casing allowed survival but did not support growth. Mushroom substrate showed a rich background microflora that grew on Listeria selective media and this hindered enumeration of L. monocytogenes. In the case of this study, Combase predictions were not always accurate, indicating that challenge studies may be a necessary part of growth determination of L. monocytogenes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology and Safety)
Open AccessArticle Microbial Profile of Soil-Free versus In-Soil Grown Lettuce and Intervention Methodologies to Combat Pathogen Surrogates and Spoilage Microorganisms on Lettuce
Foods 2013, 2(4), 488-498; doi:10.3390/foods2040488
Received: 16 August 2013 / Revised: 23 October 2013 / Accepted: 1 November 2013 / Published: 11 November 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (417 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aquaponics is an effective method to practice sustainable agriculture and is gaining popularity in the US; however, the microbial safety of aquaponically grown produce needs to be ascertained. Aquaponics is a unique marriage of fish production and soil-free produce (e.g., leafy greens) production.
[...] Read more.
Aquaponics is an effective method to practice sustainable agriculture and is gaining popularity in the US; however, the microbial safety of aquaponically grown produce needs to be ascertained. Aquaponics is a unique marriage of fish production and soil-free produce (e.g., leafy greens) production. Fish are raised in fresh water tanks that are connected to water filled beds where fruits and vegetables are grown. The fish bi-products create nutrient-rich water that provides the key elements for the growth of plants and vegetables. The objective of this study was to perform a comparative analysis of the microbial safety and quality of aquaponic lettuce and soil grown lettuce (conventional, bagged, certified organic, and field lettuce). Following this, an intervention study was performed to combat foodborne pathogen surrogates (Salmonella and E. coli), spoilage, and fecal microorganisms using 2.5% acetic acid. The results of the comparative analysis study showed that aquaponically grown lettuce had significantly lower concentration of spoilage and fecal microorganisms compared to in-soil grown lettuce. The intervention study showed that diluted vinegar (2.5% acetic acid) significantly reduced Salmonella, E. coli, coliforms, and spoilage microorganisms on fresh lettuce by 2 to 3 log CFU/g. Irrespective of growing methods (in-soil or soilless), it is crucial to incorporate good agricultural practices to reduce microbial contamination on fresh produce. The intervention employed in this study can be proposed to small farmers and consumers to improve quality and safety of leafy greens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology and Safety)
Open AccessArticle Suppression of Listeria monocytogenes by the Native Micro-Flora in Teewurst Sausage
Foods 2013, 2(4), 478-487; doi:10.3390/foods2040478
Received: 13 August 2013 / Revised: 5 October 2013 / Accepted: 14 October 2013 / Published: 21 October 2013
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Abstract
Modern consumers are interested in the use of non-chemical methods to control pathogens when heat sterilization is not an option. Such is the case with teewurst sausage, a raw spreadable sausage and a popular German commodity. Although Listeria was not found in teewurst,
[...] Read more.
Modern consumers are interested in the use of non-chemical methods to control pathogens when heat sterilization is not an option. Such is the case with teewurst sausage, a raw spreadable sausage and a popular German commodity. Although Listeria was not found in teewurst, the optimal microbial growing conditions of teewurst coupled with the ubiquity of L. monocytogenes in nature, makes the possibility of contamination of products very possible. This pilot study was conducted to examine teewurst’s native micro-flora’s ability to suppress the outgrowth of L. monocytogenes at 10 °C using standard plate counts and PCR-DGGE. Traditional plating methods showed L. monocytogenes growth significantly decreased when in competition with the teewurst’s native micro-flora (p < 0.05). The native micro-flora of the teewurst suppressed the overall growth of L. monocytogenes by an average of two logs, under these conditions. Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) amplicons with unique banding patterns were extracted from DGGE gel for identification. Brochothrix thermosphacta and Lactobacillus curvatus were identified as a part of the teewurst’s native micro-flora. Although the native micro-flora did not decrease L. monocytogenes to below limits of detection, it was enough of a decrease to warrant further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology and Safety)
Open AccessArticle Comparison of Growth Kinetics of Various Pathogenic E. coli on Fresh Perilla Leaf
Foods 2013, 2(3), 364-373; doi:10.3390/foods2030364
Received: 20 May 2013 / Revised: 3 July 2013 / Accepted: 17 July 2013 / Published: 2 August 2013
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Abstract
Growth kinetics for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in perilla leaves were compared to those of pathogenic E. coli strains, including enteropathogenic (EPEC), enterotoxigenic (ETEC), enteroinvasive (EIEC) and other enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) at 13, 17, 24, 30 and 36 °C. Models for lag time (LT), specific
[...] Read more.
Growth kinetics for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in perilla leaves were compared to those of pathogenic E. coli strains, including enteropathogenic (EPEC), enterotoxigenic (ETEC), enteroinvasive (EIEC) and other enterohemorrhagic (EHEC) at 13, 17, 24, 30 and 36 °C. Models for lag time (LT), specific growth rate (SGR) and maximum population density (MPD) as a function of temperature were developed. The performance of the models was quantified using the ratio method and an acceptable prediction zone method. Significant differences in SGR and LT among the strains were observed at all temperatures. Overall, the shortest LT was observed with E. coli O157:H7, followed by EPEC, other EHEC, EIEC and ETEC, while the fastest growth rates were noted in EPEC, followed by E. coli O157:H7, ETEC, other EHEC and EIEC. The models for E. coli O157:H7 in perilla leaves was suitable for use in making predictions for EPEC and other EHEC strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology and Safety)

Other

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessOpinion Economic Impact of Food Safety Outbreaks on Food Businesses
Foods 2013, 2(4), 585-589; doi:10.3390/foods2040585
Received: 11 November 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 6 December 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (104 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A globalized food trade, extensive production and complex supply chains are contributing toward an increased number of microbiological food safety outbreaks. Moreover, the volume of international food trade has increased to become very large. All of these factors are putting pressure on the
[...] Read more.
A globalized food trade, extensive production and complex supply chains are contributing toward an increased number of microbiological food safety outbreaks. Moreover, the volume of international food trade has increased to become very large. All of these factors are putting pressure on the food companies to meet global demand in order to be competitive. This scenario could force manufacturers to be lenient toward food safety control intentionally, or unintentionally, and result in a major foodborne outbreak that causes health problems and economic loss. The estimated cost of food safety incidents for the economy of the United States is around $7 billion per year which comes from notifying consumers, removing food from shelves, and paying damages as a result of lawsuits. Most other countries similarly have economic losses. Much of these losses represent lost markets, loss of consumer demand, litigation and company closures. Concrete steps are needed to improve safety of foods produced for local or overseas markets to avoid unexpected food scandals and economic losses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Microbiology and Safety)

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