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Evaluacion De Peligros Microbiologicos En Cilantro (coriandrum Sativum) Y Lechuga (lactuca Sativa), Producidos En Puerto Rico


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Foodborne illness is associated with a range of foods, including fresh produce. Produce are recognized as an important component of a healthy diet. Most produce are grown in a natural environment and are often consumed raw without any type of intervention that reduce, control, or eliminate pathogens prior to consumption. The Center for Disease Control estimates that, in the 1990s, at least 12 percent of foodborne-outbreak-associated illnesses were linked to fresh produce. Therefore, in order to prevent foodborne outbreaks with fresh produce, risk assessment has been recognized around the world as a systematic way to organize information and help blish viable and realistic interventions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the presence of pathogenic microorganism on cilantro and lettuce cultivated and produced in Puerto Rico under hydroponic systems. One hundred twenty samples of each vegetable were randomly harvested and processed for microbiological analysis following standard procedures recommended by the Food and Drug Administration for aerobic plate counts, coliforms, Escherichia coli, Shigella sonnei and Escherichia coli O157: H7. In addition, a Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) assessment was conducted through interviews and direct observation of activities in situ. The average microbiological counts were: 3.76 to 6.83 log CFU/g for aerobic microorganisms, 2.04 to 5.14 log CFU/g for coliforms, and less than 1 log CFU/g for Escherichia coli in cilantro. For the lettuce the aerobic counts were from 3.48 to 6.50 log CFU/g and 1.70 to 5.69 log CFU/g for coliforms. E. coli was not detected under the conditions tested. Shigella sonnei and Escherichia coli O157: H7 were not isolated. Farmers must be trained in GAP: 94.1% of them do not maintain records that demonstrate all operations in the farm and 64.7% need to improve hygiene training for workers.


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