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PubMed | Modena Health Trust, Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Umbria and Marche, University of Bologna, Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Sicily and 5 more.
Type: | Journal: Zoonoses and public health | Year: 2016

A quantitative risk assessment (RA) was developed to estimate haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) cases in paediatric population associated with the consumption of raw milk sold in vending machines in Italy. The historical national evolution of raw milk consumption phenomenon since 2008, when consumer interest started to grow, and after 7years of marketing adjustment, is outlined. Exposure assessment was based on the official Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC) microbiological records of raw milk samples from vending machines monitored by the regional Veterinary Authorities from 2008 to 2014, microbial growth during storage, consumption frequency of raw milk, serving size, consumption preference and age of consumers. The differential risk considered milk handled under regulation conditions (4C throughout all phases) and the worst time-temperature field handling conditions detected. In case of boiling milk before consumption, we assumed that the risk of HUS is fixed at zero. The model estimates clearly show that the public health significance of HUS cases due to raw milk STEC contamination depends on the current variability surrounding the risk profile of the food and the consumer behaviour has more impact than milk storage scenario. The estimated HUS cases predicted by our model are roughly in line with the effective STEC O157-associated HUS cases notified in Italy only when the proportion of consumers not boiling milk before consumption is assumed to be 1%. Raw milk consumption remains a source of E.coli O157:H7 for humans, but its overall relevance is likely to have subsided and significant caution should be exerted for temporal, geographical and consumers behaviour analysis. Health education programmes and regulatory actions are required to educate people, primarily children, on other STEC sources.


Giacometti F.,University of Bologna | Serraino A.,University of Bologna | Peli A.,University of Bologna | Fustini M.,University of Bologna | And 16 more authors.
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2013

Prevalence data were collected from official microbiological records monitoring four selected foodborne pathogens (Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter jejuni) in raw milk sold by self-service vending machines in seven Italian regions (60,907 samples from 1,239 vending machines) from 2008 to 2011. Data from samples analyzed by both culture-based and real-time PCR methods were collected in one region. One hundred raw milk consumers in four regions were interviewed while purchasing raw milk from vending machines. One hundred seventy-eight of 60,907 samples were positive for one of the four foodborne pathogens investigated: 18 samples were positive for Salmonella, 83 for L. monocytogenes, 24 for E. Coli O157:H7, and 53 for C. jejuni in the seven regions investigated. No significant differences in prevalence were found among regions, but a significant increase in C. jejuni prevalence was observed over the years of the study. A comparison of the two analysis methods revealed that real-time PCR was 2.71 to 9.40 times more sensitive than the culturebased method. Data on consumer habits revealed that some behaviors may enhance the risk of infection linked to raw milk consumption: 37% of consumers did not boil milk before consumption, 93% never used an insulated bag to transport raw milk home, and raw milk was consumed by children younger than 5 years of age. These results emphasize that end-product controls alone are not sufficient to guarantee an adequate level of consumer protection. The beta distribution of positive samples in this study and the data on raw milk consumer habits will be useful for the development of a national quantitative risk assessment of Salmonella, L. monocytogenes, E. Coli O157, and C. jejuni infection associated with raw milk consumption.


Giacometti F.,University of Bologna | Bonilauri P.,Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | Amatiste S.,Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Lazio and Tuscany | Arrigoni N.,Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | And 14 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2015

A quantitative risk assessment (RA) model was developed to describe the risk of campylobacteriosis linked to consumption of raw milk sold in vending machines in Italy. Exposure assessment was based on the official microbiological records of raw milk samples from vending machines monitored by the regional Veterinary Authorities from 2008 to 2011, microbial growth during storage, destruction experiments, consumption frequency of raw milk, serving size, consumption preference and age of consumers. The differential risk considered milk handled under regulation conditions (4. °C throughout all phases) and the worst time-temperature field handling conditions detected. Two separate RA models were developed, one for the consumption of boiled milk and the other for the consumption of raw milk, and two different dose-response (D-R) relationships were considered. The RA model predicted no human campylobacteriosis cases per year either in the best (4. °C) storage conditions or in the case of thermal abuse in case of boiling raw milk, whereas in case of raw milk consumption the annual estimated campylobacteriosis cases depend on the dose-response relationships used in the model (D-R I or D-R II), the milk time-temperature storage conditions, consumer behaviour and age of consumers, namely young (with two cut-off values of ≤5 or ≤6 years old for the sensitive population) versus adult consumers. The annual estimated cases for young consumers using D-R II for the sensitive population (≤5 years old) ranged between 1013.7/100,000 population and 8110.3/100,000 population and for adult consumers using D-R I between 79.4/100,000 population and 333.1/100,000 population. Quantification of the risks associated with raw milk consumption is necessary from a public health perspective and the proposed RA model represents a useful and flexible tool to perform future RAs based on local consumer habits to support decision-making on safety policies.Further educational programmes for raw milk consumers or potential raw milk consumers are required to encourage consumers to boil milk to reduce the associated risk of illness. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Giacometti F.,University of Bologna | Bonilauri P.,Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | Albonetti S.,University of Bologna | Amatiste S.,Experimental Institute for Zooprophylaxis in Lazio and Tuscany | And 16 more authors.
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2015

Two quantitative risk assessment (RA) models were developed to describe the risk of salmonellosis and listeriosis linked to consumption of raw milk sold in vending machines in Italy. Exposure assessment considered the official microbiological records monitoring raw milk samples from vending machines performed by the regional veterinary authorities from 2008 to 2011, microbial growth during storage, destruction experiments, consumption frequency of raw milk, serving size, and consumption preference. Two separate RA models were developed: one for the consumption of boiled milk and the other for the consumption of raw milk. The RA models predicted no human listeriosis cases per year either in the best or worst storage conditions and with or without boiling raw milk, whereas the annual estimated cases of salmonellosis depend on the dose-response relationships used in the model, the milk storage conditions, and consumer behavior in relation to boiling raw milk or not. For example, the estimated salmonellosis cases ranged from no expected cases, assuming that the entire population boiled milk before consumption, to a maximum of 980,128 cases, assuming that the entire population drank raw milk without boiling, in the worst milk storage conditions, and with the lowest dose-response model. The findings of this study clearly show how consumer behavior could affect the probability and number of salmonellosis cases and in general, the risk of illness. Hence, the proposed RA models emphasize yet again that boiling milk before drinking is a simple yet effective tool to protect consumers against the risk of illness inherent in the consumption of raw milk. The models may also offer risk managers a useful tool to identify or implement appropriate measures to control the risk of acquiring foodborne pathogens. Quantification of the risks associated with raw milk consumption is necessary from a public health perspective. Copyright ©, International Association for Food Protection

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