Simulation of improper food hygiene practices: A quantitative assessment of Vibrio parahaemolyticus distribution

Malcolm, Tan Turk Hsern and Chang, Wei San and Loo, Yuet Ying and Cheah, Yoke Kqueen and Wan Mohamed Radzi, Che Wan Jasimah and Kantilal, Haresh Kumar and Nishibuchi, Mitsuaki and Son, Radu (2018) Simulation of improper food hygiene practices: A quantitative assessment of Vibrio parahaemolyticus distribution. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 284. pp. 112-119. ISSN 0168-1605, DOI

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Kitchen mishandling practices contribute to a large number of foodborne illnesses. In this study, the transfer and cross-contamination potential of Vibrio parahaemolyticus from bloody clams to ready-to-eat food (lettuce) was assessed. Three scenarios were investigated: 1) direct cross-contamination, the transfer of V. parahaemolyticus from bloody clams to non-food contact surfaces (hands and kitchen utensils) to lettuce (via slicing), was evaluated; 2) perfunctory decontamination, the efficacy of two superficial cleaning treatments: a) rinsing in a pail of water, and b) wiping with a kitchen towel, were determined; and 3) secondary cross-contamination, the microbial transfer from cleaning residuals (wash water or stained kitchen towel) to lettuce was assessed. The mean of percent transfer rates through direct contact was 3.6%, and an average of 3.5% of total V. parahaemolyticus was recovered from sliced lettuce. The attempted treatments reduced the transferred population by 99.0% (rinsing) and 94.5% (wiping), and the relative amount of V. parahaemolyticus on sliced lettuce was reduced to 0.008%. V. parahaemolyticus exposure via secondary cross-contamination was marginal. The relative amount of V. parahaemolyticus recovered from washed lettuce was 0.07%, and the transfers from stained kitchen towel to lettuce were insubstantial. Our study highlights that V. parahaemolyticus was readily spread in the kitchen, potentially through sharing of non-food contact surfaces. Results from this study can be used to better understand and potentially raising the awareness of proper handling practices to avert the spread of foodborne pathogens.

Item Type: Article
Funders: E-Science Fund from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Malaysia (E-Science 5450683), RP 026/2012F grant under sub program food security and safety, Asia Africa Development University Network from Cluster Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Malaya , Kuala Lumpur, Kakenhi Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research ( KAKENHI 24249038 ), Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences and grant-in-aid of Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan
Uncontrolled Keywords: Vibrio parahaemolyticus; Cross-contamination; Decontamination; Bloody clam; Ready-to-eat (RTE)
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Science and Technology Studies
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 28 May 2019 03:36
Last Modified: 28 May 2019 03:36

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