Chapter 12 : Fecal Bacteria and Foods

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, , and coliphages have been proposed as fecal indicator bacteria for foods, but to this date continues to be used as the preferred indicator of fecal contamination. Although there is significant controversy whether the term "fecal indicator"; can be applied unequivocally to any of the groups of microorganisms discussed in this chapter, presently, most microbiologists agree on the value of testing some of them as general indicators of the quality and hygiene of foods. The characteristic IMViC profile of and other classified as coliforms is provided in the chapter. Investigators often compared the usefulness of coliforms and enterococci as indicators of safety in foods. The term coliphages is used to refer to specific types of viruses or bacteriophages that are capable of infecting enteric bacteria and, specifically, . The rationale for the use of a fecal indicator microorganism is ultimately to signify the potential presence of pathogenic microorganisms. The distribution of fecal food-borne pathogens in animals is quite diverse. Although some bacteria have the unique ability to colonize the intestine of many different animal species, others are confined to a single or few species. The presence of other food-borne pathogens, such as , is also tolerated in some foods, but for the most part the use of pathogenic bacteria as indicator microorganisms is not encouraged. With the advent of novel, rapid, sensitive, and specific genomic and metabolomictechniques, better alternatives may be soon be discovered.

Citation: Diez-Gonzalez F. 2011. Fecal Bacteria and Foods, p 275-293. In Sadowsky M, Whitman R (ed), The Fecal Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816865.ch12

Key Concept Ranking

Food Microbiology
Microbial Ecology
Bacterial Diseases
Gram-Negative Bacteria
Gram-Positive Bacteria
Meat and Meat Products
Escherichia coli
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Diagram depicting the most common paths of foodborne transmission from feces to foods as part of the fecal-oral route.

Citation: Diez-Gonzalez F. 2011. Fecal Bacteria and Foods, p 275-293. In Sadowsky M, Whitman R (ed), The Fecal Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816865.ch12
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Comparison of fecal indicator bacteria

Citation: Diez-Gonzalez F. 2011. Fecal Bacteria and Foods, p 275-293. In Sadowsky M, Whitman R (ed), The Fecal Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816865.ch12
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Foodborne bacterial pathogens of fecal origin

Citation: Diez-Gonzalez F. 2011. Fecal Bacteria and Foods, p 275-293. In Sadowsky M, Whitman R (ed), The Fecal Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816865.ch12

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