Prevalence of Listeria species in Fresh Salad Vegetables and Ready-to-Eat Foods Containing Fresh Produce Marketed in Canterbury, New Zealand.
Fresh produce, the most common food, is source of high value nutrients in human diet. However, some pathogenic bacteria associated with fresh produce may cause illness. For example, Listeria monocytogenes is a microorganism that causes a disease of variable severity, such as mild gastroenteritis, severe infections of the blood stream and/or the central nervous system, and even leads to abortion in pregnant women. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Listeria spp. in fresh produce.
Fresh produce have high nutritional qualities and several health benefits attributed to
them. From a nutritional point of view, fresh produce are low energy-dense foods relatively rich
in vitamins, minerals and other bioactive compounds as well as being good sources of fiber.
Consumption of fresh produce is encouraged by government health agencies, health groups
and health professionals. Generally, fresh fruits and vegetables are believed to protect against
a range of illnesses such as cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
This campaign is helping to change dietary habits toward higher per capita consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly, in developed world. For instance the average intake of fruits and vegetables in New Zealand is nearly 400 gram per day. Without doubt, fresh fruits and vegetables are important components of a healthy and balanced diet, however, several new food safety issues are being associated with their consumption. One of the major issue is the emergence of pathogens that were not traditionally associated with raw produce. This situation has enhanced the potential
for outbreaks associated with raw fruits and vegetables.
Adv Food Technol Nutr Sci Open J . 2014; 1(1):5-9. doi: 10.17140/AFTNSOJ-1-102