From the greenhouse to poultry facilities, from the classroom to 4-H camps, current Salmonella research is devoted to plants, animals, and youth food safety education.
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Explore this issueApril/May 2018
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Focus on Tomatoes
While most salmonellosis cases occur due to the consumption of contaminated poultry products, the power of fresh produce, especially tomatoes, to cause salmonellosis cannot be overlooked, says Gireesh Rajashekara, DVM, PhD, a professor in the Food Animal Health Research Program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at the Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio.
“Tomatoes have been frequently associated with wide-scale salmonellosis outbreaks worldwide over the past decades,” Dr. Rajashekara points out. “More than dozen outbreaks have been reported since 2001 in the U.S.”
The sources of these outbreaks in many instances remain unknown, Dr. Rajashekara notes. “The Salmonella infections of tomato plants and fruits do not cause any symptoms,” he relates. “The common practice of washing does not remove Salmonella, as it can internalize and avoid exposure to commonly used surface sanitizers.”
About Linda L. Leake, MS
Linda L. Leake, doing business as Food Safety Ink, is a food safety consultant, registered SQF contract auditor, and award-winning freelance journalist based in Wilmington, N.C. Specializing in agriculture, food, food safety, and travel, her articles have appeared in some 89 print and online publications. Along with garnering awards for her articles and photographs, she holds the prestigious Master Writer status with American Agricultural Editors’ Association. Majoring in Dairy Science, she completed a BS in Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin and an MS in Food Safety at Michigan State University. She’s an active member of IAFP, Toxicologists Without Borders, Inc., and the National Dairy Shrine. She’s currently enrolled in the International Development Doctoral Program at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast. Reach her at Llleake@aol.com.