Contamination of fresh produce with Salmonella may occur during any point from fork to table. It may occur during produce production, harvest, processing, and transportation. Fresh produce has been recognized as a common source for Salmonella since the bacteria has the ability to attach and internalize in produce. Salmonella has been isolated from produce including mangoes, cantaloupe, cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, and lettuce. Bacteria from fresh produce include a number of opportunistic human pathogens which may be resistant to several antibiotics. Antimicrobial resistant bacteria may have the potential to make their way over to fresh produce through contaminated irrigation water and manure applied to agricultural fields. Salmonella resistant to antibiotics including vancomycin, erythromycin, ampicillin and penicillin has been isolated from vegetables. With the increasing foodborne illness associated with fresh produce, there is a lot of emphasis on good agricultural practices (GAPs) to validate that farms are producing fresh produce in the safest means possible. With proper education and training on GAPs, produce growers will be able limit the occurrence of Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens in fresh produce.
Part of the book: Salmonella