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E.coli O157 in fresh fruit/vegetables, UK compared USA


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#1 Charles.C

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 08:08 AM

Dear All,

I remember commenting previously that Newsgirl seemed to hv far more reports on microbiological problems from the fresh fruit/vegetable scene in USA as compared to UK/Europe.

Based on the attachment below (2009), this observation does appear to have been statistically correct. The document gives a quite detailed analysis of some possible reasons for the difference. I hv no idea if the content is accepted or otherwise and maybe this information is well-known to the relevant users here but the content seemed thought-provoking and of general interest.

Attached File  E.coli_O157__fresh_fruit_vegetables.PDF   394.88KB   61 downloads

Rgds / Charles.C

added - This related and slightly earlier link (2008) may also be of interest -

http://www.theperish...date=01/01/08#7
(Kaarin Goodburn item)(interview on same page regarding spinach is also quite illuminating)


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#2 Techy4580

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 10:59 AM

I think the fact that in the UK we have customer specific produce audits (ie Natures Choice, field 2 fork) we are far more focused on controlling bacterial loading in the field. In our fruit/veg companies the field hygiene is a CCP for the growers.

Our view is that sure we wash all our produce materials thorough a validated wash process which is validated to acheive a 2 log reduction in bacterial loading. But all that effort goes to waste if you are receiving material which has high initial bacterial loading. So what if you acheive a 2 log reduction if your initial E Coli loading is 10*5 !!!

So we are very strict in our grower controls - we have a central produce department who work with our growers (both UK and overseas) to try and raise produce hygiene. Sometimes just introducing a deep clean on harvesting equipment can make a huge difference. Im not sure that the USA have quite caught up with us yet.

ST


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#3 Jean

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 12:14 PM

Dear Charles,



I enjoyed reading through Kaarin’s interview. Few points which were interesting to me are as below:-



“Adding more and more doesn’t get the product any cleaner. If you go above a certain level of chlorine it doesn’t make a difference. It doesn’t kill more bugs. More sophisticated research on how pathogens are attaching to the leaves is needed. Chlorine washes do nothing past a certain point. All they do is keep the water clean but they’re not going to eliminate a dangerous pathogen embedded in the leaf.”



“You can’t get the pathogen off the plant once it’s there”. – I agree that she is right. We had a discussion on this in some thread on vegetable washing.



“Indeed many of the salmonellas have been imported, and many through the wholesale chain that is not part of our dedicated supply base.”- Is this true??



“We had a rare salmonella found in leaf product years ago. The traceability was so good the grower could go back to the field lot number. At first he couldn’t find anything wrong there. But at night he saw lizards crawling around in the fields. The solution was to make the crop less attractive to lizards, drawing the pests away from the crops by making the surrounding environmental area more attractive than the lettuce.”

“We have instant traceability when a food safety problem is discovered, with the ability to check back quickly to which field the product was grown, when fertilizer applied, what pesticides, what the weather was like when harvested, the water used, etc. All information relevant to food safety is logged in.” – This is a great system for the Farms.



Proactive works by CFA in establishing excellent field controls, traceability, temperature control for chilled foods, stringent standards & controlled markets may be some reasons for less cases of outbreak from fresh produce eaten raw.
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Best regards,

J

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#4 Tony-C

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 12:50 AM

I remember commenting previously that Newsgirl seemed to hv far more reports on microbiological problems from the fresh fruit/vegetable scene in USA as compared to UK/Europe.

http://www.theperish...date=01/01/08#7
(Kaarin Goodburn item)(interview on same page regarding spinach is also quite illuminating)


Thanks for that Charles some interesting stuff for debate there. I like this from the interview:

There is radical off-the-wall stuff going on with the benefits of washing. This is not a critical control point. Keep handling to a minimum and do the right thing in the field. There is no spontaneous salmonella in a factory. Fields are dirty, but there is a difference between soil and crap. Organisms in the soil are not the pathogens that come from the back of an animal. It is time to put effort into dealing with and controlling the bleeding obvious.

:biggrin:

With 95% retailer supply in the UK, like them or loathe them, they will have had a significant impact on the standards and deserve some credit for that.

Regards,

Tony

Edited by Tony-C, 18 November 2009 - 12:51 AM.

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