Chapter 1 : Microorganisms Associated with Fruits and Vegetables

MyBook is a cheap paperback edition of the original book and will be sold at uniform, low price.

Preview this chapter:
Zoom in

Microorganisms Associated with Fruits and Vegetables, Page 1 of 2

| /docserver/preview/fulltext/10.1128/9781555817527/9781555813574_Chap01-1.gif /docserver/preview/fulltext/10.1128/9781555817527/9781555813574_Chap01-2.gif


The trend in increased consumption of fruits and vegetables is expected to continue through 2020, with fruit consumption increasing by 24 to 27% and vegetable consumption increasing by 19 to 24%. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables may have unintended consequences. Since fruit and vegetables are produced in a natural environment, they are vulnerable to contamination by human pathogens. Approximately 12% of foodborne illnesses in the 1990s were linked to fresh produce items. The importation of fresh fruits and vegetables creates unique food safety concerns. The key issue among retailers with respect to imported fresh fruits and vegetables is ensuring food safety. Viruses are a frequent cause of foodborne outbreaks, and many outbreaks of viral infection are attributed to consumption of contaminated fresh fruits and vegetables. Food handlers are often (48 of 94 outbreaks) implicated in outbreaks linked to viruses as opposed to outbreaks (20 of 102 outbreaks) involving bacteria. Humidity plays an important role in survival of viruses on fresh fruits and vegetables. Foodborne outbreaks of cyclosporiasis and cryptosporidiosis have been associated with the consumption of fresh snow peas, raspberries, basil, and mesclun lettuce and a variety of other fresh fruits and vegetables. Measures to ensure the microbiological safety of fresh fruits and vegetables have advanced significantly in the past decade; consumption of fruits and vegetables must continue to be encouraged as part of a healthy diet.

Citation: Matthews K. 2006. Microorganisms Associated with Fruits and Vegetables, p 1-19. In Matthews K, Doyle M (ed), Microbiology of Fresh Produce. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817527.ch1

Key Concept Ranking

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Meat and Meat Products
Food Safety
Fruits and Vegetables
Foodborne Illnesses
Human Pathogenic Parasite
Highlighted Text: Show | Hide
Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

Food vehicles associated with O157:H7 outbreaks. (Reprinted from J. M. Rangel, P. H. Sparling, C. Crowe, P. M. Griffin, and D. L. Swerdlow, Epidemiology of O157:H7 outbreaks, United States, 1982–2002, . 11:603–609, 2005.)

Citation: Matthews K. 2006. Microorganisms Associated with Fruits and Vegetables, p 1-19. In Matthews K, Doyle M (ed), Microbiology of Fresh Produce. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817527.ch1
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
Download as Powerpoint


1. Alakpa, G. E.,, S. C. Clarke,, and A. F. Fagbenro-Beyioku. 2003. Cyclospora cayetanensis infection: vegetables and water as possible vehicles for its transmission in Lagos, Nigeria. Br. J. Biomed. Sci. 60:113114.
2. Allende, A.,, E. Aguaya,, and F. Artes. 2004. Microbial and sensory quality of commercial fresh processed red lettuce throughout the production chain and shelf life. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 91:109117.
3. Anonymous. 1998. Guide To Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.
4. Beru, N.,, and P. A. Salbury. 2002. FDA's produce safety activities. Food Safety Magazine 2002(Feb.–Mar.): 1419.
5. Beuchat, L. R. 2002. Ecological factors influencing survival and growth of human pathogens on raw fruits and vegetables. Microbes Infect. 4:413423.
6. Brody, A. L. 2005. What's fresh about fresh-cut. Food Technology 59:7477.
7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2004. Outbreak of cyclosporiasis associated with snow peas—Pennsylvania, 2004. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 53:876878.
8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2005. Preliminary FoodNet data on the incidence of infection with pathogens transmitted commonly through food—10 sites, United States, 2004. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 54:352356.
9. Chalmers, R. M.,, H. Aird,, and F. J. Bolton. 2000. Waterborne Escherichia coli O157. J. Appl. Microbiol. 88:124S132S.
10. Clemens, R. 2004. The expanding U.S. market for fresh produce. Iowa Agric. Rev. 10:14.
11. Cohen, N.,, C. S. Hollingsworth,, R. Brennan Olson,, M. J. Laus,, and W. M. Coli. 2005. Farm food safety practices; a survey of New England growers. Food Prot. Trends 25:363370.
12. Cook, R. L. 2003. The evolving global marketplace for fruits and vegetables. Calif. Agric. 2003(Jan.–Mar.):13.
13. Cordy, R.,, V. Lanni,, V. Kistler,, V. Dato,, A. Weltman,, C. Yozviak,, K. Waller,, K. Nalluswami,, M. Moll,, J. Lockett,, M. Lynch,, C. Braden,, S. K. Gupta,, and A. DuBois. 2005. Outbreaks of Salmonella infections associated with eating Roma tomatoes—United States and Canada, 2004. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 54:325328.
14. Croci, L.,, D. De Medici,, C. Scalfaro,, A. Fiore,, and L. Toti. 2002. The survival of hepatitis A virus in fresh produce. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 73:2934.
15. Cuellar, S. 2003. Marketing fresh fruit and vegetable imports in the United States: status, challenges and opportunities. SMART Marketing. 2003(Mar.):611.
16. Dato, V.,, A. Weltman,, K. Waller,, M. A. Ruta,, C. Hembree,, S. Evenson,, C. Wheeler,, and T. Vogt. 2003. Hepatitis A outbreak with green onions at a restaurant—Monaca, Pennsylvania, 2003. Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 52:11551157.
17. Dubois, E.,, C. Agier,, O. Traore,, C. Hennechart,, G. Merle,, C. Cruciere,, and H. Laveran. 2002. Modified concentration method for the detection of enteric viruses on fruits and vegetables by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction or cell culture. J. Food Prot. 65:19621969.
18. Findlar, C. R. 1971. The survival of Salmonella Dublin in cattle slurry. Vet. Rec 89:224225.
19. Fiore, A. E. 2004. Hepatitis A transmitted by food. Clin. Infect. Dis. 38:705715.
20. Food and Drug Administration. 1999. Guidance for industry: reducing microbial food safety hazards for sprouted seeds and guidance for industry: sampling and microbial testing of spent irrigation water during sprout production. Fed. Regist. 64:5789357902.
21. Food and Drug Administration and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. 30 September 2001, posting date. Analysis and Evaluation of Preventative Control Measures for the Control and Reduction/Elimination of Microbial Hazards on Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce, chapter 4. [Online.] Food and Drug Administration and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Washington, D.C. http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/ift3-4a.html.
22. Food and Drug Administration and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. 5 February 2004, posting date. Letter to Firms That Grow, Pack, or Ship Fresh Lettuce and Fresh Tomatoes. [Online.] Food and Drug Administration and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Washington, D.C. http://www.foodsafety.gov/~dms/prodltr.html.
23. Food and Drug Administration and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. 18 June 2004, posting date. Produce Safety from Production to Consumption: a Proposed Action Plan To Minimize Foodborne Illness Associated with Fresh Produce Consumption. [Online.] Food and Drug Administration and Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Washington, D.C. http://www.foodsafety.gov/~dms/prodplan.html.
24. Gale, S. F. 2004. Fresh express: cutting-edge food safety. Food Safety Magazine 2004 (February–March):5154.
25. Gandhi, M.,, and K. R. Matthews. 2003. Efficacy of chlorine and calcinated calcium treatment of alfalfa seeds and sprouts to eliminate Salmonella. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 87:301306.
26. Gandhi, M.,, S. Golding,, S. Yaron,, and K. R. Matthews. 2001. Use of green fluorescent protein expressing Salmonella Stanley to investigate survival, spatial location, and control on alfalfa sprouts. J. Food Prot. 64:18911898.
27. Herwaldt, B. L.,, M. J. Beach, and Cyclospora Working Group. 1997. An outbreak in 1996 of cyclosporiasis associated with imported raspberries. N. Engl. J. Med. 336:15481556.
28. Himathongkham, S.,, S. Bahari,, H. Riemann,, and D. Cliver. 1999. Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Typhimurium in cow manure and cow manure slurry. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 178:251257.
29. Hirotani, H.,, J. Naranjo,, P. G. Moroyqui,, and C. P. Gerba. 2002. Demonstration of indicator microorganisms on surface of vegetables on the market in the United States and Mexico. J. Food Sci. 67:18471850.
30. Ho, A. Y.,, A. S. Lopez,, M. G. Eberhart,, R. Levenson,, B. S. Finkel,, A. J. da Silva,, J. M. Roberts,, P. A. Orlandi,, C. C. Johnson,, and B. L. Herwaldt. 2002. Outbreak of cyclosporiasis associated with imported raspberries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2000. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 8:783788.
31. Hoang, L. M.,, M. Fyfe,, C. Ong,, J. Harb,, S. Champagne,, B. Dixon,, and J. Isaac-Renton. 2005. Outbreak of cyclosporiasis in British Columbia associated with imported Thai basil. Epidemiol. Infect. 133:2327.
32. Institute of Food Technologists. 20 February 2002, posting date. IFT Expert Report on Emerging Microbiological Food Safety Issues: Implications for Control in the 21st Century. [Online.] Institute of Food Technologists, Chicago, Ill. http://www.ift.org/pdfs/expert/ microfs/webreport.pdf.
33. Karenlampi, R.,, and M. L. Hannien. 2004. Survival of Campylobacter jejuni on various fresh produce. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 97:187195.
34. Kniel, K. E.,, and M. C. Jenkins. 2005. Detection of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts on fresh vegetables and herbs using antibodies specific for Cryptosporidium parvum viral antigen. J. Food Prot. 68:10931096.
35. Koopmans, M.,, C. H. von Bonsdorff,, J. Vinje,, D. de Medici,, and S. Monroe. 2002. Foodborne viruses. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 26:187205.
36. Kruse, H.,, A.-M. Kirkemo,, and K. Handeland. 2004. Wildlife as source of zoonotic infections. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 10:20672072.
37. Kudva, I.,, K. Blanch,, and C. J. Hovde. 1998. Analysis of Escherichia coli O157:H7 survival in ovine or bovine manure and manure slurry. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 64:31663174.
38. Lin, B.-H. 2004. Fruit and vegetable consumption: looking ahead to 2020. Agric. Infect. Bull. 2004:792797.
39. Long, S. M.,, G. K. Adak,, S. J. O'Brien,, and I. A. Gillespie. 2002. General outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease linked with salad vegetables and fruit, England and Wales, 1992–2000. Communicable Dis. Public Health 5:101105.
40. Lopman, B. A.,, M. H. Reacher,, Y. van Duijnhoven,, F. Hanon,, D. Brown,, and M. Koopmans. 2003. Viral gastroenteritis outbreaks in Europe, 1995–2000. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 9:9096.
41. Mukherjee, A.,, D. Speh,, E. Dyck,, and F. Diez-Gonzalez. 2004. Preharvest evaluation of coliforms, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Escherichia coli O157:H7 in organic and conventional produce grown by Minnesota farmers. J. Food Prot. 67:894900.
42. Okafo, C. N.,, V. J. Umoh,, and M. Galadima. 2003. Occurrence of pathogens on vegetables harvested from soils irrigated with contaminated streams. Sci. Total Environ. 311:4956.
43. Pabrua, F. F.,, and J. William. 2003–2004. Challenges, progress and solutions in produce safety. Food Safety Magazine 2003–2004(December–January):4952.
44. Phillips, C. A.,, and M. A. Harrison. 2005. Comparison of the microflora on organically and conventionally grown spring mix from a California processor. J. Food Prot. 68:11431146.
45. Pivarnik, L. F.,, H. Donath,, M. S. Patnoad,, and C. Roheim. 2005. New England consumers' willingness to pay for fresh fruits and vegetables grown on GAP-certified farms. Food Prot. Trends 25:256266.
46. Plym-Forshell, L.,, and I. Ekesbo. 1996. Survival of salmonellas in urine and dry faeces from cattle—an experimental study. Acta Vet. Scand. 37:127131.
47. Rangel, J. M.,, P. H. Sparling,, C. Crowe,, P. M. Griffin,, and D. L. Swerdlow. 2005. Epidemiology of Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak, United States, 1982–2002. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 11:603609.
48. Rzezutka, A.,, and N. Cook. 2004. Survival of human enteric viruses in the environment and food. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 28:441453.
49. Sagoo, S. K.,, C. L. Little,, and R. T. Mitchell. 2003. Microbiological quality of open ready-to-eat salad vegetables: effectiveness of food hygiene training of management. J. Food Prot. 66:15811586.
50. Sewell, A. M.,, and J. M. Farber. 2001. Foodborne outbreaks in Canada linked to produce. J. Food Prot. 64:18631877.
51. Sivapalasingam, S.,, C. R. Friedman,, L. Cohen,, and R. V. Tauxe. 2004. Fresh produce: a growing cause of outbreaks of foodborne illness in the United States, 1973 through 1997. J. Food Prot. 67:23422353.
52. Solomon, E. B.,, C. J. Potenski,, and K. R. Matthews. 2002. Effect of irrigation method on transmission to and persistence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on lettuce. J. Food Prot. 65:673676.
53. Steele, M.,, S. Unger,, and J. Odumeru. 2003. Sensitivity of PCR detection for Cyclospora cayetanensis in raspberries, basil, and mesclun lettuce. J. Microbiol. Methods 54:277280.
54. Steele, M.,, and J. Odumeru. 2004. Irrigation water as source of foodborne pathogens on fruit and vegetables. J. Food Prot. 67:28392849.
55. Stier, R. F.,, and N. E. Nagle. 2001. Growers beware: adopt GAPs or else. Food Safety Magazine 2001(October–November):2632.
56. Tannock, G. W.,, and J. M. Smith. 1972. Studies on the survival of Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella bovis-morbificans on soil and sheep faeces. Res. Vet. Sci. 13:150153.
57. Taormina, P. J.,, L. R. Beuchat,, and L. Slutsker. 1999. Infections associated with eating seed sprouts: an international concern. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 5:626634.
58. Thunberg, R. L.,, T. T. Tran,, R. W. Bennett,, R. N. Matthews,, and N. Belay. 2002. Microbial evaluation of selected fresh produce obtained at retail markets. J. Food Prot. 65:677682.
59. Thurston-Enriquez, J. A.,, P. Watt,, S. E. Dowd,, R. Enriquez,, I. L. Pepper,, and C. P. Gerba. 2002. Detection of protozoan parasites and microsporidia in irrigation waters used for crop production. J. Food Prot. 65:378382.
60. Tournas, V. H. 2005. Spoilage of vegetable crops by bacteria and fungi and related health hazards. Crit. Rev. Microbiol. 31:3344.
61. U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service. 13 June 2001, posting date. Fruit and Vegetable Agricultural Practices—1999, June. [Online.] U.S. Department of Agriculture-National Agricultural Statistics Service, Washington, D.C. http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/reports/nassr/other/pcu-bb/agfv0601.pdf.
62. Wang, G.,, and M. P. Doyle. 1998. Survival of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 in water. J. Food Prot. 61:662667.
63. Widdowson, M.-A.,, A. Sulka,, S. N. Bulens,, R. S. Beard,, S. S. Chaves,, R. Hammond,, E. D. P. Salehi,, E. Swanson,, J. Totaro,, R. Woron,, P. S. Mead,, J. S. Bresee,, S. S. Monroe,, and R. I. Glass. 2005. Norovirus and foodborne disease, United States, 1991–2000. Emerg. Infect. Dis. 11:95102.

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Please check the format of the address you have entered.
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error