Prevalence of Salmonella in Vegetables from Mexico

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Abstract:

The present study is an overview of the role of vegetables as a transmission vehicle of Salmonella in Mexico. One hundred samples of each of 17 different vegetables were analyzed during a period of 18 months. Salmonella was isolated from 98 samples. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium was isolated from the highest percentage of samples with typeable Salmonella isolates (23.9%), followed by S. enterica subsp. arizonae and Salmonella Choleraesuis each from 16.9%, Salmonella Gallinarum from 11.1%, Salmonella Anatum and S. enterica subsp. houtenae each from 9.7%, Salmonella Agona and Salmonella Edinburg each from 4.22%, Salmonella Enteritidis and S. enterica subsp. salamae each from 2.81%, and Salmonella Bongor, Salmonella Pullorum, Salmonella Typhi, and Salmonella C1 flagellar b each from 1.4%. Of the isolated bacteria, 27.6% were nontypeable strains. Salmonella was isolated from 12% of parsley samples, 11% of cilantro samples, 9% of broccoli samples, 9% of cauliflower samples, 9% of "papaloquelite" (Porophyllum ruderale) samples, 9% of purslane (Portulaca oleracea) samples, 7% of long lettuce samples, 7% of spinach samples, 7% of watercress samples, 6% of Chinese parsley samples, 4% of beet samples, 3% of celery samples, 3% of Romaine lettuce samples, 1% of cabbage samples, and 1% of potato samples. The presence of Salmonella Typhi in parsley is noteworthy. No Salmonella isolates were obtained from zucchini and onion. These results indicate that raw or minimally processed vegetables can be contaminated with Salmonella, leading to direct infection of consumers or cross-contamination of other foodstuffs. These contaminated vegetables can represent a severe health risk for the Mexican consumer.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departamento de Microbiología Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Carpio and Plan de Ayala s/n, C.P. 11340, Mexico, D.F., Mexico 2: Departamento de Biotecnología División de Ciencias Biológicas y de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa, San Rafael Atlixco 186, Col. Vicentina, C.P. 09340, Mexico, D.F., Mexico 3: Departamento de Biotecnología División de Ciencias Biológicas y de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa, San Rafael Atlixco 186, Col. Vicentina, C.P. 09340, Mexico, D.F., Mexico 4: Departamento de Biotecnología División de Ciencias Biológicas y de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa, San Rafael Atlixco 186, Col. Vicentina, C.P. 09340, Mexico, D.F., Mexico

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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