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11 (1.1%)

6 (0.6%)

5 (0.8%)

Adapted from FDA Survey of Domestic Fresh Produce, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Plant and Dairy Foods and Beverages, January 2003, www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ prodsu10.html.

Adapted from FDA Survey of Domestic Fresh Produce, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Plant and Dairy Foods and Beverages, January 2003, www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ prodsu10.html.

Data presented in Table 1.3 show that of 1028 domestic samples that were collected and analyzed, 6 samples (0.58% of the total number of samples) were found to have detectable levels of Salmonella spp., 5 samples (0.49% of the total number of samples) were found to have detectable levels of Shigella spp., and no samples (0%) were found to have detectable levels of E. coli O157:H7. One or more samples of cantaloupe, cilantro, lettuce, parsley, and scallions were found to have detectable levels of human pathogens. Cantaloupes had the highest number of positive samples (5), followed by scallions (3), cilantro, lettuce, and parsley (1 each).

When adjusted to account for the number of samples of each commodity collected, scallions had the highest detectable rate of human pathogens (3.2%) of the total 93 samples collected. Cantaloupe had a 3.1% rate of detectable human pathogens with 5 out of 164 samples collected testing positive. One of 85 cilantro samples tested positive for the presence of a human pathogen giving a detection rate of 1.2%. One of 90 parsley samples (1.1%) was found to have detectable levels of Shigella spp. and one of 142 (0.7%) lettuce samples was found to have detectable levels of Salmonella spp.

1.4.3 USDA Microbiological Data Program (MDP)

In 2001 the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented a program to collect information regarding the incidence, number, and species of important foodborne pathogens and indicator organisms on domestic and imported fresh fruit and vegetable raw agricultural commodities. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) was appointed to undertake the program that is currently known as the microbiological data program (MDP). MDP was primarily designed to provide data on microbial presence in order to establish a microbial baseline to assess the risks of contamination, if any, in the domestic food supply.

In 2002 USDA MDP analyzed a total 10,317 samples of five raw agricultural commodities: cantaloupe, celery, leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes [14]. Samples were collected in commerce at wholesale and/or distribution centers, and 86% of the samples came from domestic sources; 11% of the samples were imported; and no country of origin information was obtained for 3% of the samples.

Samples were analyzed for generic E. coli and Salmonella spp. with E. coli isolates being further analyzed for the presence of the following virulence factors: enterohemorrhagic shiga-toxins SLT-1 and SLT-2, hemolysin HlyA, invasive trait (intimin-eae) enterotoxigenic toxins (heat stable STa, STb; heat labile LT), enteropathogenic — invasive character (intimin eae-a), enteroag-gregative — gene associated with the virulent plasmid, necrotizing cytotoxic — cytotoxic necrotizing factor (CNF-1 and 2), enteroinvasive — IpaH gene known to be associated with EIEC, and K1 capsular antigen. The presence of virulence factors does not necessarily mean that the strains isolated from the produce items are pathogenic to humans, but may have pathogenic potential.

Data presented in Table 1.4 show that of the 10,315 USDA MDP samples that were collected and analyzed for Salmonella spp., only 3 samples (0.03% of the total number of samples) were found to have detectable levels of Salmonella spp. Of the 10,276 USDA MDP samples that were collected

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