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Bonilauri P.,Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | Bardasi L.,Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | Leonelli R.,Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | Ramini M.,Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | And 3 more authors.
Italian Journal of Food Safety | Year: 2016

Foodstuffs should not contain microorganisms or their toxins or metabolites in quantities suggesting an unacceptable risk for human health. The detection of food hazards in foods is performed by several tests that produce results dependent on the analytical method used: an analytical reference method, defined as standard, is associated with each microbiological criterion laid down in Regulation 2073/2005/EC, but, analytical methods other than the reference ones, in particular more rapid methods, could be used. Combined screening methods performed by real time-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are currently validated as alternative methods according to the ISO 16140:2003 and certified by the Association Française de Normalisation. However, the positive results obtained with these alternative methods, the investigated molecular relations that resulted positive have to be confirmed with cultural methods using the same enrichment media in which the molecular screening was performed. Since it is necessary to assess if these testing schemes provide equivalent guarantees of food safety, the aim of this retrospective study is to analyse the data collected, from 2012 to 2014 by Emilia Romagna Region in the field of Piano Regionale Alimenti (Food Regional Plan) during official controls monitoring food samples of animal and other than animal origin. Records performed by combined methods of molecular screening of Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes and thermophilic Campylobacter and cultural confirmation results were gathered together and the results were compared in order to assess the sensitivity of the methods. A total of 10,604 food samples were considered in this study: the comparison of the data revealed that the RT-PCR method detected Salmonella, L. monocytomonocytogenes, and thermophilic Campylobacter in 2.18, 3.85 and 3.73% of the samples, respectively, whereas by using cultural method these pathogens were isolated in 0.43, 1.57 and 1.57% of samples, respectively. In spite of the use of the same enrichment broth, the RT-PCR method disclosed a percentage of positive samples that was negative to cultural examination ranging between 20 and 43%, with a PCR/culture ratio between 2.37 to 5.00. In conclusion, the results of this study pose a doubt about the sensitivity of the official cultural methods regarding the isolation of the three investigated foodborne pathogens. Moreover this study may be a useful tool for veterinary authorities to assess appropriate sampling plans to control the risk relating to the consumption of contaminated foods. © P. Bonilauri et al., 2016. Source

Merialdi G.,Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | Ramini M.,Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | Ravanetti E.,Ham factory San Michele SRL | Gherri G.,Ham factory San Michele SRL | Bonilauri P.,Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna
Italian Journal of Food Safety | Year: 2015

The present work aims to present the results of the application of a treatment with high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) on Italian fermented and dry-cured pork products. The products used in this study were portioned cured ham, portioned bacon and salami, vacuum-packaged and produced by a single processing company. Two studies were conducted on a single batch of the three products by means of an artificial contamination with Listeria innocua as a surrogate of L. monocytogenes. In the first trial a superficial contamination was obtained by immersion for 3 min in the culture broth with a concentration of approximately 9 log cfu/mL. At the end of the inoculum step, the pieces were dred at room temperature and vacuum packaged. In the second trial 50 kg of minced pork meat were contaminated before production of salami. In both cases the inoculum contained 5 strains of L. innocua. Subsequently, in both trials, 10 samples were randomly divided into two groups of 5 pieces each: i) TH group, samples treated with HHP; ii) group C, control samples, not subjected to any treatment. All samples were stored at refrigeration temperature at the end of HHP treatments (if applied), and analyzed for the determination of the surface (1st trial) and deep (2nd trial) quantitative contamination of L. innocua. pH and aW were also determined on 3 pieces of each products belonging to group C. The difference between the medians of the log cfu/cm2 or g established between controls and treated were compared using the non-para- metric test (Kruskal-Wallis test) with P<0.01. In all products and in both trials the level of contamination detected in treatment groups was always significantly lower than in controls (P<0.01). In particular, in vacuum-packaged ham, bacon and salami viability logarithmic viability reductions equal to -2.29, -2.54 and -2.51 were observed, respectively. This study aimed to evaluate a not-thermal treatment on Italian cured or fermented pork products. The results of this study need to be confirmed in different products and in a greater number of lots, but they appear promising, also because of the considerable literature available for different categories of products (cheese, vegetables and fruit) © G. Merialdi et al., 2015 Source

Merialdi G.,Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | Ramini M.,Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | Parolari G.,Experimental Unit for Food Preserves Industry | Barbuti S.,Experimental Unit for Food Preserves Industry | And 5 more authors.
Italian Journal of Food Safety | Year: 2016

The objective of this study was to investigate Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin production in the industrially manufactured Italian Parma ham. The study focuses on the Parma ham production phase identified as maximum risk to C. botulinum proliferation, i.e. the transition from cold phase (salting and resting) to a phase carried out at temperature between 15 and 23°C (drying). A preliminary in vitro test was carried out in order to verify the capability of 6 C. botulinum strains (1 type A, 4 type B, and 1 type E strains) to grow in conditions of temperature, pH and NaCl concentration comparable to those of the beginning stage of ham drying. Five C. botulinum strains grew at 20°C and pH 6, four strains produced toxin when inoculated at a concentration equal to 103 cfu/mL at NaCl concentration of 4%, while when the inoculum concentration was 10 cfu/mL, NaCl concentration of 3% resulted the toxin-genesis limiting factor. An experimental contamination with a mixture of the 5 C. botulinum strains selected by the preliminary in vitro test was performed on 9 thighs inoculated at the end of the resting phase. The study was designed to evaluate the potential growth and toxin production in extremely favourable conditions for the bacterium. Type B proteolytic C. botulinum toxin was produced after 14 days of incubation at 20°C in 2 thighs characterised by high weight, low number of days of resting and anomalous physiochemical characteristics [one for very low NaCl concentration (1.59%), the other for elevated pH (6.27) and both for high water activity values (>0.970)]. The results of this research confirm that the cold resting step is a critical phase in the production process of Parma ham for the investigated hazard. Based on the present study, the long resting phase adopted in the manufacturing of Parma ham is proven effective to prevent the growth of C. botulinum, an event which could not otherwise be excluded if the hams were processed under less stringent technological conditions. © G. Merialdi et al. Source

Bonardi S.,University of Parma | Bruini I.,University of Parma | Alpigiani I.,University of Parma | Vismarra A.,University of Parma | And 6 more authors.
Italian Journal of Food Safety | Year: 2016

Ninety pig carcasses and twenty one food contact surfaces (FCSs) were tested for Salmonella in a slaughterhouse processing ca. 380 pigs/h between 2014-2015. Sampling was performed during seven sessions. Four carcass sites of 100 cm2 each (back, belly, jowl externally, and the diaphragmatic area internally) were swabbed after evisceration. Meat conveyors and dressing tables were tested swabbing areas of 200 to 400 cm2. After pre-enrichment in buffered peptone water, samples were tested by Salmonella MDS® assay and the presumptive positives were confirmed by the ISO 6579 method. Salmonella isolates were serotyped following the KauffmanWhite-Le Minor scheme and genotyped by XbaI pulsed field gel electrophoresis. Salmonella was isolated from 16/90 [17.8%; confidence interval (CI) 95%=11.2-26.9] carcasses and 4/21 (19.0%; CI 95%=7.7-40.0) FCSs. Four serovars were identified on carcasses. S. enterica 4,[5],12:i:was the most prevalent (43.75%), followed by S. Rissen (31.25%), S. Derby (12.5%) and S. Bovismorbificans (12.5%). Two serovars were found on FCSs, namely S. Derby (75%) and S. Livingstone (25%). During one sampling session, a failure in carcass dehairing occurred and caused significantly higher prevalence of carcass contamination (60%) than in the remaining sessions. Moreover, in the same session, Salmonella prevalence was marginally significantly higher on FCSs than in the remaining sampling days, suggesting that dehairing affects contamination not only on carcasses, but also on the working surfaces. © S. Bonardi et al. Source

Canestrari G.,University of Bologna | Ricci B.,University of Bologna | Pizzamiglio V.,Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese Consortium | Biancardi A.,Institute for Experimental Veterinary Medicine of Lombardy and Emilia Romagna | And 8 more authors.
Italian Journal of Food Safety | Year: 2016

This study investigated aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination in dairy cow feed and the risk management of AFB1 content in concentrates undertaken by feed industries in the Parmigiano Reggiano area. Data on aflatoxin contamination risk management applied in 29 feed industries were collected and the AFB1 content of 70 feed samples was analysed. Data were collected within the framework of a quality control programme promoted by the Parmigiano Reggiano Consortium in 2013 and 2014. Audit results showed that the control procedures to prevent AFB1 contamination mainly focused on maize and its by-products. AFB1 concentration resulted lower than 5 ppb [legal European Union (EU) limit] in all samples; in one out of 70 samples, AFB1 content was 3.8 ppb and in all the other samples it was lower than 3 ppb. Results showed that AFB1 risk management applied by Italian feed industries effectively monitors AFB1 levels in feed below the EU legal limit. © G. Canestrari et al., 2016. Source

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