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Warsaw, Poland

Holownia P.,Sanitary Inspectorate | Jaworska-LUczak B.,Sanitary Inspectorate | Wisniewska I.,Sanitary Inspectorate | Bilinski P.,Sanitary Inspectorate | And 3 more authors.
Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences | Year: 2010

The prebiotic inulin is a non-digestible carbohydrate which occurs naturally throughout the normal human diet. Following passage through the gastro-intestinal tract inulin ultimately becomes metabolised to fructose by colonic bacteria, especially the beneficial species, whose growth are also promoted at the expense of the harmful types. There has been much recent attention by industry and the general public in the EU concerning inulin and prebiotics, especially in the marketing of their derived/supplemented products that includes the Central & East European region, (CEE) [Halliday, 2008]. Major benefits to human health have been reported variously worldwide and chiefly consist of maintaining healthy microbial gut homeostasis, reducing gut inflammation and infection, preventing colonic cancer, increasing mineral reabsorption, decreasing cholesterol, improving bowel habits, being of use in diabetic treatments and enhancing immune function. Inulin can thus be of great potential benefit to public health not just through these physiological effects but also in helping to reduce weight by replacing fat and digestible carbohydrate in food products. It is also important however to recognise the likely hazards of inulin arising mainly from fructose intolerance and rare cases of allergy. In addition under certain medical conditions it is possible that the growth of other harmful gut bacterial species may become stimulated with a potential but as yet unproven link to autoimmune disease. This article aims to review and discuss the scientific evidence as well as addressing general concerns raised by consumers and the general public alike. Recommendations based on current knowledge are suggested at the end. © Copyright by Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Bilinski P.,Sanitary Inspectorate | Bilinski P.,Institute of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine | Kapka-Skrzypczak L.,Institute of Rural Health | Kapka-Skrzypczak L.,Health Management Technology | And 4 more authors.
Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine | Year: 2012

Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are the most virulent diarrhoeagenic E. coli known to date. They can spread with alarming ease via the food chain, as recently demonstrated by the large outbreak of STEC O104:H4 borne by sprouted seeds in 2011, clustered in northern Germany, and subsequently affecting other countries. Indeed, a significant number of infections to verocytotoxin producing Escherichia coli O104:H4 have been reported from the WHO European Region resulting in many cases of bloody diarrhoea and haemolytic uraemic syndrome in Germany, 15 other European countries and North America. Eventually, the European Food Standards Agency, (EFSA), identified the likely source to a single consignment of fenugreek seeds from an Egyptian exporter as being linked to the two outbreaks in Germany and France. The situation was closely monitored by the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate public health authority in Poland where actions undertaken ensured that the public was well informed about the dangers of STEC contamination of food, how to avoid infection, and what to do if infected. Tracing the fenugreek distributors also enabled the identification of suspected batches and their isolation. As a result, there were very few reported cases of STEC infection in Poland. Effective control over such outbreaks is therefore a vital public health task. This should include early detection and rapid identification of the contagion mode, followed by removing the foodstuff(s) from the market, providing consumer advice, and preventing secondary spreading. As a mitigation measure, screening/monitoring those involved in food handling is also warranted to exclude carriers who can be asymptomatic.

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