Organic fruit and veg contaminated with ‘extremely harmful’ bacteria, study finds

More than 50 species of dangerous micro organism – some that may trigger extreme well being points like pneumonia and gastrointestinal sicknesses – had been discovered on samples of natural spinach and lettuce, in accordance with a Spanish examine

Fruit and vegetables treated with organic fertilisers like manure could carry harmful bacteria, a study has found
Fruit and greens handled with natural fertilisers like manure might carry dangerous micro organism, a examine has discovered

Organic greens are sometimes contaminated with dangerous disease-causing micro organism, warns a brand new examine.

People who purchase produce which has been handled with natural fertilisers corresponding to manure might reside to remorse their alternative, say scientists.

More than 50 species of doubtless dangerous micro organism had been found on samples of natural spinach and lettuce.

Organic fruit and greens have gotten more and more widespread as extra folks eat wholesome diets and keep away from pesticides, fertilisers and herbicides.

But now scientists in Spain have discovered they could possibly be contaminated with dangerous micro organism from human or animal sources.

These are probably transferred to the greens throughout their progress, harvest, transport, processing and dealing with.

Many wholesome diets name for a decreased consumption of meals handled with pesticides and chemical fertilisers


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Vegetables specifically can include single-celled organism’s like free-living amoebae (FLA), which feed on micro organism, a few of which might be extraordinarily dangerous to people.

These nasty micro organism, dubbed Trojan horses, resist the organism’s digestion and current a severe menace to whoever eats them.

Dr Yolanda Moreno on the Universitat Politècnica de València mentioned: “Food and food-related environments create an ideal meeting place for free-living amoebae and pathogenic bacteria.

The contamination takes place all through the meals provide chain


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“However, comparatively little is known about the occurrence and diversity of free-living amoebae on organic vegetables and their role in transmitting human pathogens.”

Samples of lettuce and spinach had been collected from native supermarkets in Valencia between November 2020 and May 2021.

A particular scientific approach was then used to determine the DNA of any micro organism discovered contained in the amoebae.

The foremost forms of micro organism recognized had been Flavobacterium and Pseudomonas, which usually don’t trigger illness in people.

But 52 forms of dangerous micro organism, together with Legionella, Salmonella and Arcobacter had been found in a 3rd of the samples.

These could cause severe ailments like pneumonia and gastrointestinal sicknesses.

52 forms of doubtlessly dangerous micro organism had been present in a 3rd of all of the samples


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Another species referred to as Vermamoeba vermiformis which frequently causes extreme infections was present in a fifth of the vegetable samples.

Acanthamoeba castellanii, a micro organism able to inflicting blindness and encephalitis was additionally recorded in nearly two thirds of samples – 63 per cent.

Dr Moreno mentioned: “The presence of bacteria of public health concern contained inside the free-living amoebae suggests that they are vehicles that can easily transmit pathogens capable of reaching humans and causing health problems through contaminated organic vegetables.

“Contamination can come up as a consequence of treating soil with natural fertilisers corresponding to manure and sewage sludge and from irrigation water.”

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Larger research are wanted from totally different international locations to know extra in regards to the high quality and security of natural greens.

Dr Moreno mentioned: “Leafy greens are particularly susceptible to faecal contamination due to their proximity to the ground and the likelihood of humans consuming them without cooking.

“Our outcomes additionally stress the necessity to educate the general public on protected and correct dealing with of recent natural greens earlier than consuming them recent or barely cooked.”

The findings were due to be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID)in Lisbon, Portugal.

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