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Int J Food Microbiol. 2013 Mar 15;162(2):190-212. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2012.08.008. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Review of Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and their significance in dairy production.

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1
CNIEL- French Dairy Inter-branch Organisation, 42 rue de Chateaudun, FR-75009 Paris, France. cfarrokh@cniel.com

Abstract

The involvement of the pathogenic Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC; also called verocytotoxic-producing E. coli or VTEC) in sporadic cases and disease outbreaks is presently increasing. Infrequent cases are due to ingestion of milk and dairy products. As ruminants are healthy carriers of STEC and most dairy products may provide these bacteria with favourable conditions for their growth, milk and dairy products are a potential source of STEC. But not all STEC serotypes are pathogens; only relatively small numbers in the entire family of STEC are pathogenic. This review focuses on the recent advances in understanding of STEC and their significance in milk and dairy products. It is intended to gather the information that is needed to understand how these bacteria are described, detected and characterised, how they contaminate milk and grow in dairy products, and how the dairy industry can prevent them from affecting the consumer.

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