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Understanding the challenges of non-food industrial product contamination

Cunningham-Oakes, Edward, Weiser, Rebecca ORCID:, Pointon, Tom and Mahenthiralingam, Eshwar ORCID: 2019. Understanding the challenges of non-food industrial product contamination. FEMS Microbiology Letters 366 (23) , fnaa010. 10.1093/femsle/fnaa010

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Preventing microbial contamination of non-food products is a major area of industrial microbiology where preservatives are used to stop microbial growth. However, microorganisms occasionally overcome product preservation, causing recalls and the implementation of multiple procedures to prevent further contamination. Correct reporting of microbial contamination in non-food industrial products is vital, especially if spoilage organisms are antimicrobial resistant and pose a health threat. Gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas, Burkholderia, and Enterobacteriaceae are frequently reported as non-food product contaminants, including species that overlap current antimicrobial resistance priorities. Historical analysis of recall databases highlighted that for greater than 15% of contamination incidents, the causative microbial agents are reported as unidentified. Here we review the current antimicrobial resistant bacterial species associated with non-food product contamination and evaluate recall reporting in Europe from 2005 to 2018. Our review shows that 49% of microbial contaminants are reported as unidentified despite frequent detection of antimicrobial resistant pathogens; in contrast, 98% of food-related microbial contaminants are classified. Recommendations to fill this microbial identification gap in non-food product recalls are made. Overall, reporting standards for microbial contamination in non-food products must be improved to enable surveillance and for understanding the risks associated with antimicrobial resistant microorganisms

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0378-1097
Funders: BBSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 3 January 2020
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 08:57

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