Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Food Microbiol. 2014 Nov 17;191:89-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2014.08.030. Epub 2014 Sep 16.

Co-occurrence of free-living protozoa and foodborne pathogens on dishcloths: implications for food safety.

Author information

1
Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium. Electronic address: natascha.chavatte@ugent.be.
2
Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium. Electronic address: julie.bare@ugent.be.
3
Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium. Electronic address: ellen.lambrecht@ugent.be.
4
Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium. Electronic address: inge.vandamme@ugent.be.
5
Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium. Electronic address: mario.vaerewijck@ugent.be.
6
Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. Electronic address: koen.sabbe@ugent.be.
7
Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium. Electronic address: kurt.houf@ugent.be.

Abstract

In the present study, the occurrence of free-living protozoa (FLP) and foodborne bacterial pathogens on dishcloths was investigated. Dishcloths form a potentially important source of cross-contamination with FLP and foodborne pathogens in food-related environments. First various protocols for recovering and quantifying FLP from dishcloths were assessed. The stomacher technique is recommended to recover flagellates and amoebae from dishcloths. Ciliates, however, were more efficiently recovered using centrifugation. For enumeration of free-living protozoa on dishcloths, the Most Probable Number method is a convenient method. Enrichment was used to assess FLP diversity on dishcloths (n=38). FLP were found on 89% of the examined dishcloths; 100% of these tested positive for amoebae, 71% for flagellates and 47% for ciliates. Diversity was dominated by amoebae: vahlkampfiids, vannellids, Acanthamoeba spp., Hyperamoeba sp. and Vermamoeba vermiformis were most common. The ciliate genus Colpoda was especially abundant on dishcloths while heterotrophic nanoflagellates mainly belonged to the genus Bodo, the glissomonads and cercomonads. The total number of FLP in used dishcloths ranged from 10 to 10(4) MPN/cm(2). Flagellates were the most abundant group, and ciliates the least abundant. Detergent use was identified as a prime determinant of FLP concentrations on used dishcloths. Bacterial load on dishcloths was high, with a mean total of aerobic bacteria of 7.47 log 10 cfu/cm(2). Escherichia coli was detected in 68% (26/38) of the used dishcloths, with concentrations up to 4 log 10 cfu/cm(2). Foodborne pathogens including Staphylococcus aureus (19/38), Arcobacter butzleri (5/38) and Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica ser. Halle (1/38) were also present. This study showed for the first time that FLP, including some opportunistic pathogens, are a common and diverse group on dishcloths. Moreover, important foodborne pathogens are also regularly recovered. This simultaneous occurrence makes dishcloths a potential risk factor for cross-contamination and a microbial niche for bacteria-FLP interactions.

KEYWORDS:

Dishcloths; Diversity; Enumeration; Foodborne pathogens; Free-living protozoa (FLP); Most Probable Number (MPN)

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center