Scientific journal

60 2021

Journal of Food and Nutrition Research
Summary No. 2 / 2021

Moravkova, M. – Vasickova, P. – Slany, M. – Kolackova, I. – Hrdy, J. – Karpiskova, R. – Kralik, P.
Selected viral, protozoan and bacterial agents on minimally processed vegetables and sprouts at point of sale
Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, 60, 2021, No. 2, s. 138-145

Monika Moravkova, Department of Microbiology and Antimicrobial Resistance, Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 70, 621 00 Brno, Czech Republic. E-mail:

Received 11 March 2021; 1st revised 20 April 2021; accepted 8 May 2021; published online 15 June 2021.

Summary: Epidemiological data linked to cases of food-borne infection from fresh produce are scarce and usually underestimated. The present study reports the occurrence of food-borne pathogens such as viruses (norovirus, hepatitis A virus) and protozoa (Giardia intestinalis, Cryptosporidium parvum/hominis) in 175 samples of fresh-cut vegetables, frozen vegetables and sprouts that originated in the Czech Republic and in other European countries, as detected using real-time PCR and reverse transcription real-time PCR. In addition, samples were analysed for Escherichia coli as an indicator of fecal contamination and for Staphylococcus aureus as an indicator of possible contamination by food handlers, using conventional culture methods. Norovirus was detected in two samples (1.1 %) of rocket and frozen mixed vege­tables. G. intestinalis was detected in two samples (1.1 %) of mixed fresh vegetable salads and mixed frozen vegetables. The occurrence of norovirus did not correlate with E. coli presence. Staph. aureus was detected in 3 samples (1.7 %) but without genes for classical enterotoxins production. Our results highlight the need for microbiological analysis of food of non-animal origin for specific protozoan and viral agents, which are being less frequently monitored in these food category types, but their presence may pose risk for consumers.

Keywords: foodborne pathogens; vegetables; Giardia; norovirus; Staphylococcus aureus

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