Salmonella in Eggs: Risk Factors from Shopping to Consumption
Nontyphoidal salmonellae are among the most prevalent foodborne pathogens worldwide. A high number of cases and outbreaks of salmonellosis are associated with the consumption of eggs and egg products, and several of these occur at the household level. The aim of this study was to critically evaluate the current status of knowledge regarding Salmonella in eggs from a consumer perspective, analyzing the hazard occurrence and the good practices that should be applied to reduce salmonellosis risk. The authors followed a HACCP-based approach, and some steps along the food journey were identified as steps in which consumers can significantly reduce the level of Salmonella in these products. From shopping and collecting to consumption, each of these steps is discussed in this review to provide an evidence-based overview of risk factors of human salmonellosis related to egg consumption. The main message to consumers is to choose Salmonella-free eggs when available, especially for dishes that are not fully heat treated. Second, because guaranteed Salmonella-free eggs are only available in a few countries, refrigerated storage from the point of collection and proper cooking will significantly reduce the risk of salmonellosis. This will require a revision of the actual recommendations/regulations, because not all ensure that eggs are maintained at temperatures that prevent growth of Salmonella. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2021;20:2716–2741.
Aflatoxin Contamination of Agricultural Products and Foods
Aflatoxins represent a global public health and economic concern, because they are responsible for significant adverse health and economic issues affecting consumers and farmers worldwide. Countries with warmer climates and staple foods that are aflatoxin-susceptible shoulder a substantial portion of the global aflatoxins burden. Enactment of regulations, prevention of pre- and postharvest contamination, decontamination, and detoxification have been used to prevent human dietary exposure to aflatoxin. Means that exploit the chemical and structural properties of aflatoxins are devised to detect and quantify their presence in foods. In this article, recent developments in several important aspects impacting aflatoxin contamination of the food supply, including fungal producers of the toxin, occurrence in food, worldwide regulations, detection methods, preventive strategies, and removal and degradation methods, are reviewed and presented. Knowledge gaps and current challenges in each discussed aspect are identified, and new solutions are proposed. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2021;20:2332–2381.
Predicting Salmonella in Agricultural Surface Water
This paper aims to create a new hybrid ensemble data mining model to predict the presence of Salmonella in agricultural surface waters based on the combination of a heterogeneous ensemble approach for feature selection, clustering, regression, and classification algorithms. The data set for this study was collected from six agricultural ponds in central Florida consisting of 23 features with 540 instances (26 Salmonella positive and 514 Salmonella negative). The model consisted of three stages. Initially, a heterogeneous ensemble feature selection approach was applied to select top features. Then, the k-means clustering algorithm was implemented to remove misclassified cases from the data set. Finally, classification and regression algorithms, including support vector machine, naïve Bayes, artificial neural network (ANN), and random forest (RF) with a soft voting approach were applied to the preprocessed data set to predict the Salmonella presence in agricultural surface waters with the amount of test set. These algorithms were combined in 10 different ensemble models through the soft voting approach. The performance of these hybrid ensemble models was also evaluated. The ensemble ANN + RF model achieved the highest performance and outperformed all other single and ensemble models based on area under the ROC curve and prediction accuracy. The findings emphasize the validity of the authors’ hybrid ensemble model, which encourages researchers to predict Salmonella presence in agricultural surface waters. Journal of Food Safety. Published April 11, 2021; doi:10.1111/jfs.12903.