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See detailMicrobiological risks of the consumption of raw milk and raw milk dairy products
Verraes, C.; Claeys, W.; Cardoen, S. et al

Poster (2015, October)

The Scientific Committee of the Belgian FASFC has published several opinions where the objective was to assess the risks and benefits of the consumption of raw milk and raw dairy products (from multiple ... [more ▼]

The Scientific Committee of the Belgian FASFC has published several opinions where the objective was to assess the risks and benefits of the consumption of raw milk and raw dairy products (from multiple species), based on an elaborate literature study and expert opinion. Raw milk In Belgium, the most relevant microbiological hazards related to the consumption of raw cow, sheep and goat milk are Campylobacter, Salmonella and human pathogenic verocytotoxin producing E. coli (VTEC). Raw donkey and horse milk generally has a high microbial quality. A risk assessment at an European level identified the same hazards and included also Brucella spp. in sheep milk, Mycobacterium bovis in cow milk and tick-borne encephalitis virus in milk from several species. As potential emerging hazards, Coxiella burnetii and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) were identified. Raw dairy products In Belgium, the risks of raw dairy products (especially (semi-)soft cheeses) are mainly linked to Listeria monocytogenes, VTEC, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella and Campylobacter. Dairy products from cows with subclinical mastitis may contain high numbers of L. monocytogenes and S. aureus. L. monocytogenes, VTEC and S. aureus have been identified as microbiological hazards in raw milk butter and cream albeit to a lesser extent because of a reduced growth potential of these pathogens compared to cheese. In endemic areas in Belgium or abroad, raw dairy products may also be contaminated with Brucella spp., Mycobacterium bovis, the tick-borne encephalitis virus, C. burnetii and MAP. Based on the health threat due to the possible presence of human pathogens, it is stated that heat treatment of milk before consumption and dairy production is important to insure the safety of such products. Concerning so-called beneficial (nutritional and health) effects attributed to raw milk consumption, it was concluded that there is no scientific evidence that, with the exception of an altered organoleptic profile, heating raw milk would substantially change its nutritional value or other hypothesized benefits. The benefits of probiotic and lactic acid bacteria are not relevant due to low numbers encountered in raw milk. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrobiological risks and benefits of the consumption of raw milk and the effect of heat treatment
Verraes, Claire; Cardoen, S.; Claeys, W. et al

Conference (2014, September 01)

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See detailRaw or heated cow milk consumption: Review of risks and benefits
Claeys, W. L.; Cardoen, S.; Daube, Georges ULg et al

in Food Control (2013), 31(1), 251-262

In the context of the prevailing trend toward more natural products, there seems to be an increasing preference for raw milk consumption as raw milk is associated with several perceived health benefits ... [more ▼]

In the context of the prevailing trend toward more natural products, there seems to be an increasing preference for raw milk consumption as raw milk is associated with several perceived health benefits that are believed to be destroyed upon heating. However, many human pathogens can be isolated from raw cow milk. The prevalence of foodborne pathogens in raw cow milk varies, but their presence has been demonstrated in many surveys and foodborne infections have been repeatedly reported for Campylobacter, Salmonella spp. and human pathogenic verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli. In industrialized countries, milk-borne and milk product-borne outbreaks represent 2-6% of the bacterial foodborne outbreaks.The aim of this review is to present scientifically sound data regarding the risks and benefits related to the consumption of raw and heated cow milk. Both microbiological aspects (e.g., the prevalence of milk-borne pathogens, pathogen growth inhibition by antimicrobial systems and by lactic acid producing bacteria, probiotic bacteria, etc.) and nutritional or health aspects (nutritional value, immunity, allergies, lactose intolerance, diabetes, milk digestibility, etc.) are considered.As such, it is demonstrated that consumption of raw milk poses a realistic health threat due to a possible contamination with human pathogens. It is therefore strongly recommended that milk should be heated before consumption. With the exception of an altered organoleptic profile, heating (in particularly ultra high temperature and similar treatments) will not substantially change the nutritional value of raw milk or other benefits associated with raw milk consumption. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of a method for simultaneous isolation of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O26, O103, O111, and O145 from minced beef by an international ring-trial
Verstraete, K.; De Zutter, L.; Robyn, J. et al

in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease (2012), 9(5), 412-417

An isolation method described by Possé et al. (FEMS Microbiol Lett 2008;282:124-131) was satisfactorily validated in an international ring-trial using artificially contaminated minced beef samples. Until ... [more ▼]

An isolation method described by Possé et al. (FEMS Microbiol Lett 2008;282:124-131) was satisfactorily validated in an international ring-trial using artificially contaminated minced beef samples. Until now, no validated method existed for the simultaneous isolation of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli serogroups O26, O103, O111, and O145 in food. Twelve laboratories from five European countries participated and received 16 inoculated beef samples contaminated with cold-stressed cells of the four serogroups O26, O103, O111, and O145 in two levels (approximately 30 and 300 CFU 25g-1) in duplicate. In addition, they received four non-inoculated samples. The isolation protocol comprised a selective enrichment step, a selective isolation step on a non-O157 agar plate differentiating the serogroups by color, followed by confirmation by plating on confirmation agar media and agglutination. All laboratories were able to isolate the inoculated serogroups from the samples, both for the high and the low inoculation level. Results did not differ whether in-house-prepared or ready-to-use non-O157 agar plates were used, demonstrating that by following the instructions laboratories managed to perform the complete protocol with success. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of heat treatment on the risks and benefits of consumption of raw cow milk: preliminary results
Cardoen, S; Claeys, W.; De Zutter, L. et al

Poster (2011, September)

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See detailValidation by a ring trial of an isolation method for VTEC O26, O103, O111, and O145 in minced beef
Verstraeten, K.; De Zutter, L.; Robyn, J. et al

Poster (2010, September 16)

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See detailValidation by a ring trial of an isolation method for VTEC O26, O103, O111, and O145 in minced beef
Verstraeten, K.; De Zutter, L.; Robyn, J. et al

Poster (2010, August 30)

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See detailSalmonella surveillance and control at post harvest in the Belgian pork meat chain.
Delhalle, Laurent ULg; Saegerman, Claude ULg; Farnir, Frédéric ULg et al

in Food Microbiology (2009), 26

Salmonella remains the primary cause of reported bacterial food borne disease outbreaks in Belgium. Pork and pork products are recognized as one of the major sources of human salmonellosis. In contrast ... [more ▼]

Salmonella remains the primary cause of reported bacterial food borne disease outbreaks in Belgium. Pork and pork products are recognized as one of the major sources of human salmonellosis. In contrast with the primary production and slaughterhouse phases of the pork meat production chain, only a few studies have focussed on the post-harvest stages. The goal of this study was to evaluate Salmonella and Escherichia coli contamination at the Belgian post-harvest stages. E. coli counts were estimated in order to evaluate the levels of faecal contamination. The results of bacteriological analysis from seven cutting plants, four meat-mincing plants and the four largest Belgian retailers were collected from official and self-monitoring controls. The prevalence of Salmonella in the cutting plants and meat-mincing plants ranged from 0% to 50%. The most frequently isolated serotype was Salmonella typhimurium. The prevalence in minced meat at retail level ranged from 0.3% to 4.3%. The levels of Salmonella contamination estimated from semi-quantitative analysis of data relating to carcasses, cuts of meat and minced meat were equal to 3.40 2.04 log CFU/cm2, 2.64 1.76 log CFU/g and 2.35 1.09 log CFU/g, respectively. The E. coli results in meat cuts and minced meat ranged from 0.21 0.50 to 1.23 0.89 log CFU/g and from 1.33 0.58 to 2.78 0.43 log CFU/g, respectively. The results showed that faecal contamination still needs to be reduced, especially in specific individual plants. [less ▲]

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See detailHygiene indicator microorganisms for selected pathogens on beef, pork and poultry meats in Belgium.
Ghafir, Y.; China, B.; Dierick, K. et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2008), 71

Several bacterial indicators are used to evaluate the hygiene of the meat slaughtering process. The objectives of this study were to assess the Belgian baseline of hygienic indicators and the relationship ... [more ▼]

Several bacterial indicators are used to evaluate the hygiene of the meat slaughtering process. The objectives of this study were to assess the Belgian baseline of hygienic indicators and the relationship between the indicators and zoonotic agents, in order to establish hygiene indicator criteria for carcasses and meat of beef, pork and poultry. The study used the results from the official Belgian surveillance plan from 2000 to 2003, which included the monitoring of counts for E. coli (ECC), Enterobacteriaceae (EC), aerobic colonies (ACC) and Pseudomonas. The sampling method was the wet and dry swabbing technique for beef and pork carcasses, and neck skin excision for chicken and layer carcasses. The 75th and 95th percentiles of ECC were –0.20 and 0.95 log cfu/cm2 for beef carcasses, 1.20 and 2.32 log cfu/cm2 for pork carcasses, and 4.05 and 5.24 log cfu/g for chicken carcasses. The aerobic colony counts were between 2.1 and 4.5 log cfu/cm2 or /g higher than those of ECC for cattle, pork and poultry. For beef and pork carcasses, a significant correlation between ECC, EC and ACC was shown between each parameter. ECC (for pork and beef samples), and EC (in pork carcasses) were detected at significantly higher levels in samples contaminated with Salmonella. In poultry samples, ECC were in general higher for samples containing Salmonella or Campylobacter. This study showed that E. coli may be considered as a good indicator for enteric zoonotic agents such as Salmonella for beef, pork and poultry, and Campylobacter in poultry meat samples. [less ▲]

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See detailRisk factors for Salmonella and hygiene indicators in the 10 largest Belgian pig slaughterhouses.
Delhalle, Laurent ULg; Desadeleer, L.; Bollaerts, Kaatje et al

in Journal of Food Protection (2008), 77

A survey was conducted to collect data on Salmonella prevalence, Escherichia coli counts (ECCs), and aerobic bacteria colony counts (ACCs) on pig carcasses after chilling at the 10 largest Belgian pig ... [more ▼]

A survey was conducted to collect data on Salmonella prevalence, Escherichia coli counts (ECCs), and aerobic bacteria colony counts (ACCs) on pig carcasses after chilling at the 10 largest Belgian pig slaughterhouses during 2000 through 2004. Potential risk factors of contamination associated with production parameters, technical descriptions of the installations, and cleaning and disinfection methods were assessed during investigations in the slaughterhouses. These variables were used first in a univariate analysis and then were extended to a multivariate analysis with a logistic mixed regression model for Salmonella and a linear mixed model for ECCs and ACCs with slaughterhouses as the random effect. The results indicated high variability concerning Salmonella contamination among the 10 slaughterhouses, with prevalence ranging from 2.6 to 34.3% according to the area of origin. The median ECC and median ACC ranged from 0.43 to 1.11 log CFU/cm2 and from 2.37 to 3.65 log CFU/cm2, respectively. The results of the logistic and linear regressions revealed that some working practices such as scalding with steam, second flaming after polishing, and complete cleaning and disinfection of the splitting machine several times a day were beneficial for reducing Salmonella prevalence, ECCs, and ACCs. Changing the carcass hooks just before chilling, using water as the cleaning method, and a higher frequency of disinfection of the lairage seemed to be protective against E. coli in the multivariate mixed linear model. The monitoring of critical points, slaughterhouse equipment, good slaughtering practices, and effective washing and disinfection are the keys to obtaining good microbiological results. [less ▲]

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See detailBegian Surveillance Plans to Assess Changes in Salmonella Prevalence in Meat Production Stages.
Ghafir, Yasmine; China, Bernard; Korsak Koulagenko, Nicolas ULg et al

Article for general public (2006)

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See detailPrevalence of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes and enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157 in animal foods in Belgium
Ghafir, Y.; China, B.; Chahed, A. et al

Poster (2005, June 23)

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See detailSurvey of the Contamination of Foodstuffs of Animal Origin by Shiga Toxin Producing Escherichia Coli Serotype O157:H7 in Belgium from 1999 to 2003
Chahed, A.; Ghafir, Y.; China, B. et al

in Euro Surveillance : Bulletin Européen sur les Maladies Transmissibles = European Communicable Disease Bulletin (2005), 10(3), 9-10

A survey of the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) of O157 serotype in foodstuffs of animal origin (beef, veal, pork, chicken, fish) from 1999 to 2003 in Belgium was performed ... [more ▼]

A survey of the prevalence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) of O157 serotype in foodstuffs of animal origin (beef, veal, pork, chicken, fish) from 1999 to 2003 in Belgium was performed. STEC strains were only isolated from beef with a prevalence of 0.73%. This percentage is low in comparison with the prevalence in other countries. Among the 76 isolated STEC O157 strains, 75% belonged to the serotype O157:H7 and 25% to the serotype O157 non H7. Moreover, the most frequent pathotype was eae stx2 ehxA (74%). [less ▲]

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See detailExposure assessment of salmonella in pork in Belgium
Ghafir, Y.; China, B.; Dierick, K. et al

Poster (2004, October 03)

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See detailOccurrence of E. coli O157 in foods from animal origin in Belgium (1999-2003)
Chahed, A.; Ghafir, Y.; China, B. et al

Poster (2004, September 16)

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See detailExposure assessment of Campylobacter in animal foods in Belgium
Ghafir, Y.; China, B.; Dierick, K. et al

Poster (2004, September 16)

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See detailExposure assessment of Salmonella in animal foods in Belgium
Ghafir, Y.; China, B.; Dierick, K. et al

Poster (2004, September 16)

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See detailEvolution of faecal contamination and general hygiene in Belgian meat producing establishment
Ghafir, Y.; China, B.; Dierick, K. et al

Poster (2004, September 16)

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See detailPrevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in foods from animal origin in Belgium (2000-2003)
Ghafir, Y.; China, B.; Dierick, K. et al

Poster (2004, September 16)

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