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Gwacheon si, South Korea

Lee B.-R.,Catholic University of Korea | Lee S.-G.,Chonbuk National University | Park J.-H.,Gachon University | Kim K.-Y.,Chungbuk National University | And 5 more authors.
Viruses | Year: 2013

This study aimed to inspect norovirus contamination of groundwater treatment systems used in food-catering facilities located in South Korea. A nationwide study was performed in 2010. Water samples were collected and, for the analysis of water quality, the temperature, pH, turbidity, and residual chlorine content were assessed. To detect norovirus genotypes GI and GII, RT-PCR and semi-nested PCR were performed with specific NV-GI and NV-GII primer sets, respectively. The PCR products amplified from the detected strains were then subjected to sequence analyses. Of 1,090 samples collected in 2010, seven (0.64%) were found to be norovirus-positive. Specifically, one norovirus strain was identified to have the GI-6 genotype, and six GII strains had the GII, GII-3, GII-4, and GII-17 genotypes. The very low detection rate of norovirus most likely reflects the preventative measures used. However, this virus can spread rapidly from person to person in crowded, enclosed places such as the schools investigated in this study. To promote better public health and sanitary conditions, it is necessary to periodically monitor noroviruses that frequently cause epidemic food poisoning in South Korea. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Joung H.K.,Catholic University of Korea | Han S.H.,Catholic University of Korea | Park S.-J.,National Institute of Environmental Research | Jheong W.-H.,National Institute of Environmental Research | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2013

Widespread outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza occurred in South Korea during 2010. In response to the culling of many animals to attenuate the spread of disease, South Korea used mass burial sites to dispose of the large number of carcasses; consequently, concerns about groundwater contamination by leachate from these burial sites are increasing. Groundwater is one of the main sources of drinking water, and its cleanliness is directly related to public health. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the safety of groundwater around the burial sites (total of 600 sites). A total of 1,200 groundwater samples were collected though the country, and microbial analysis was conducted during two time periods: during the spring (n = 600; April to June 2012) and after rainfall (n = 600; August to October, 2012; fall). Fecal coliform and Escherichia coli were detected in 173 (14.4%) and 85 (7.1%) of the 1,200 samples, respectively. Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp. each were detected only once (0.083%). Clostridium perfringens was detected from 7 groundwater samples (0.583%), and E. coli O157:H7 was not detected. With respect to norovirus, only the GII type was detected from six groundwater samples (0.5%), and enterovirus was detected in 15 groundwater samples (1.25%). The frequency of E. coli that we detected was lower than that found in previous studies conducted in South Korea, but we detected higher frequency of fecal coliform than that observed in a previous report. The contamination frequencies of Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp. were very low, but C. perfringens, which could be an indicator of fecal pollution, was detected in seven regions. Overall, the results of the present study indicate a low possibility of contamination from burial sites. However, consistent monitoring is required to prevent microbial contamination of groundwater near the burial sites. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Fransisca L.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Park H.K.,Sanigen Co. | Feng H.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Journal of Food Science | Year: 2012

It has been reported that washing seeds with a 20000 ppm Ca(OCl) 2 solution as recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is unable to eliminate E. coli cells attached to seed surfaces, and the bacterial cells that have survived a sanitation wash can proliferate during sprouting to a high population. The objectives of this research were to examine the efficacy of malic acid (MA) and thiamine dilauryl sulfate (TDS) combined treatments on the inactivation of E. coli O157:H7 on alfalfa seeds, to study the growth of the remaining E. coli cells during sprouting, and to evaluate the sprout quality. When 10 g of inoculated alfalfa seeds were washed in a 10% MA-1% TDS solution, a complete elimination of E. coli was achieved. The same result was observed by washing the seeds in a 20000 ppm Ca(OCl) 2 solution. However, when the seed size was increased to 50 g while maintaining the same seed-to-sanitizer ratio, both the MA + TDS and the 20000 ppm chlorine washes failed to completely inactivate the E. coli cells on the seeds. Nevertheless, the 10% MA-1% TDS solution was significantly more effective in E. coli count reduction compared to the 20000 ppm chlorine wash. The E. coli O157:H7 cells remaining on the seeds after treatments with both sanitizers grew up to 7 to 8 log CFU/g sprout after 96 h of sprouting. Under the treatment conditions used in this study, none of the treatments resulted in significant differences in germination rate, yield, or quality of the sprouts. © 2012 Institute of Food Technologists ®.

Fransisca L.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Zhou B.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Park H.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Park H.,Sanigen Co. | Feng H.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Journal of Food Science | Year: 2011

The effect of calcinated calcium spray onEscherichia coliO157:H7 87-23 population reduction during radish sprout production was studied. Artificially inoculated radish seeds were soaked in sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) solutions (200 and 20000 ppm), rinsed in distilled water, and sprayed with water or a calcinated calcium solution during sprouting. Microbial plate count was obtained at each step of the process and germination rate was determined after 72 h of sprouting. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was done on treated seeds and sprouts to locate which parts were populated by theE. colicells. The results showed that the active compound in the calcinated calcium was calcium oxide. The treatment of 200 ppm NaOCl soaking followed by 0.04% calcinated calcium spray resulted in no microbial growth after a 72-h sprouting, while maintaining a high germination rate. The 0.4% calcinated calcium spray significantly reduced the germination rate and is therefore not recommended. Soaking the seeds in a 20000 ppm chlorine solution achieved the highestE. colicount reduction (1.65 log CFU/g). However, theE. colicells that survived the 20000 ppm chlorine soak grew to 6 log CFU/g sprouts after a 72-h sprouting, significantly higher than the initial count on the seeds. The SEM microimages showed that the bacteria were mostly located in the roots of the radish sprouts and all across the seed surface. TheE. coliO157:H7 87-23 cells appeared to be located in biofilms or embedded into the radish sprout tissues during sprouting. © 2011 Institute of Food Technologists ®.

The present invention relates to an apparatus for partitioning a sampling region on a solid surface and a method for collecting a microbial sample from a solid surface, in which an optimal sampling region is partitioned on a solid surface using a light source without bringing the solid surface into direct contact with a ruler or a partitioning tool. With the apparatus and method, a solid surface can be prevented from being contaminated during partitioning process, accuracy of sampling operation can be increased, partitioning operation can be continuously performed in a simple manner, and cost of sampling operation can be reduced.

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