Pathogens found on produce at farmers’ markets

By Tim Sandle     13 mins ago in Health
Farmers’ markets are becoming increasingly popular, providing opportunities for people to purchase fresh produce as opposed to pre-packaged supermarket fare. A study in the U.S. warns about the presence of pathogens.
The new research has looked for the presence of bacterial pathogens like Salmonella and Escherichia coli on herbs sold at farmers’ markets. The study sampled 133 herbs taken from 13 markets and 49 market stands. The samples, each of approximately one pound in weight, were taken between July and October 2013.

The samples were taken back to a microbiology laboratory and processed. Bacteriological tests were undertaken to screen for the presence or absence of specific pathogens associated with food borne illnesses.

It was found that just under one quarter (24.1 percent) showed the presence of for E. coli and one sample tested positive for Salmonella. The Salmonella sample was from parsley. Salmonellae are found worldwide in both cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals, and in the environment. They cause illnesses such as typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, and food poisoning. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some serotypes are pathogenic and can cause serious food poisoning in humans. Food poisoning caused by E. coli can result from eating unwashed vegetables or poorly butchered and under-cooked meat

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