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Incidence of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, Escherichia coli O157, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes in Retail Fresh Ground Beef, Sprouts, and Mushrooms

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The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), E. coli O157, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes in retail food samples from Seattle, Wash. A total of 2,050 samples of ground beef (1,750 samples), mushrooms (100 samples), and sprouts (200 samples) were collected over a 12-month period and analyzed for the presence of these pathogens. PCR assays, followed by culture confirmation were used to determine the presence or absence of each organism. Of the 1,750 ground beef samples analyzed, 61 (3.5%) were positive for EHEC, and 20 (1.1%) of these were positive for E. coli O157. Salmonella was present in 67 (3.8%) of the 1,750 ground beef samples. Of 512 ground beef samples analyzed, 18 (3.5%) were positive for L. monocytogenes. EHEC was found in 12 (6.0%) of the 200 sprout samples, and 3 (1.5%) of these yielded E. coli O157. Of the 200 total sprout samples, 14 (7.0%) were positive for Salmonella and none were positive for L. monocytogenes. Among the 100 mushroom samples, 4 (4.0%) were positive for EHEC but none of these 4 samples were positive for E. coli O157. Salmonella was detected in 5 (5.0%) of the mushroom samples, and L. monocytogenes was found in 1 (1.0%) of the samples.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: Institute for Environmental Health, Inc., Seattle, Washington 98155, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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