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Microbial pollution and food safety

Department of Agricultural Technology, TEI of West Macedonia, Florina, Greece

Topical Section: Microbial pollution and food safety

Microbial pollution is a serious food safety issue because it can lead to a wide range of foodborne diseases. A great number of foodborne diseases and outbreaks are reported in which contamination of fresh produce and animal products occurs from polluted sources with pathogenic bacteria, viruses and protozoa and such outbreaks are reviewed and the sources are revealed. Investigations of foodborne outbreaks involved meat production and fresh produce, namely, that occurred at the early stages of the food chain have shown certain sources of contamination. Domesticated food animals, as well as wild animals, flies and rodents can serve as a source of contamination of nearby produce-growing fields and can lead to human infection through direct contact at farms and, mostly, mail order hatcheries. The most of the fresh produce associated outbreaks have followed wildlife intrusion into growing fields or fecal contamination from nearly animal production facilities that likely led to produce contamination, polluted water used for irrigation and improper manure. Preventive measures, as part of implemented good agricultural practice systems are described. Controlling and minimizing pre-harvest contamination may be one of the key aspects of food safety.
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Keywords microbial pollution; environmental contamination; foodborne pathogen outbreaks; food safety; meat production; fresh produce

Citation: Thomas Bintsis. Microbial pollution and food safety. AIMS Microbiology, 2018, 4(3): 377-396. doi: 10.3934/microbiol.2018.3.377

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