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Annu Rev Nutr. 1997;17:255-75.

Emerging issues in microbiological food safety.

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The Center for Food Safety and Quality Enhancement and the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Griffin 30223, USA.


Many microorganisms previously unrecognized as food-borne or harmful are emerging as human pathogens transmitted by food. This is a result of recent acquisition of key virulence factors, detection by newly developed isolation procedures, or astute detective-like laboratory skills of microbiologists. Six microbial pathogens, including Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Arcobacter butzleri, Helicobacter pylori, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Cyclospora, have become recognized as significant causes of human illness. Although the ecology and epidemiology of illness caused by some of these pathogens have not been fully elucidated, food has the potential of being an important vehicle in their dissemination. Existing technologies and new approaches such as irradiation and hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) programs are useful tools in the control of food-borne hazards. However, because of ever-changing products, processes, food-handling practices, societal habits, and pathogens, emerging food-borne diseases will continue to be an important public health concern.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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