martes, 4 de agosto de 2015

Heavy rains increase the risk of food contamination by Salmonella

Study: Salmonella Infections Rise With Extreme Weather Events

Salmonella is the one of the most common pathogen causing gastroenteritis in humans. The disease can happen when people consume contaminated food such as meat, eggs, produce, among others. Salmonella infections proliferate during seasons characterized by elevated temperatures and precipitation which can amplify bacterial replication and transmission to surface water and food crops (potential sources of infection).

Heavy rains increase the risk of food contamination by Salmonella. For example,   rivers overflows and that excess of water is poured on crops. Sometimes, farmers use chicken manure as fertilizer, therefore, when the precipitation increase, the rain spread the pathogen. Researchers at the University of Maryland has shown that climate change may be causing more than just an increase in extreme weather events such as heat waves and storms. Those events also seem to be bringing a heightened risk of Salmonella outbreaks. The research, published in Environment International, concluded that the risk of salmonellosis can increase in 4,1% when the temperature increase in one unit. They observed that this risk increase was more pronounced in coastal versus non-coastal areas (5.1% vs 1.5%). 
Likewise, they observed a 5.6% increase in salmonellosis risk associated with a 1 unit increase in extreme precipitation events, with the impact disproportionately felt in coastal areas (7.1% vs 3.6%). It is important to considerate that bacteria tend to multiply and grow better in warmer and wetter environments.
In addition, Tirado et al. described that infection with Salmonella Enteritidis appears to be more sensitive to the effects of environmental temperature, at least as compared with infections caused by Salmonella Typhimurium. Inappropriate storage temperature and food handling would be important factors in disease transmission.

-       Group foods together in the freezer—this ‘igloo’ effect helps the food stay cold longer.
-       Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling.
-       Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
-       Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination of thawing juices.

Aporte: Rosita Cabrera Tagle


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