23.04.2019 - Lebensmittel

Resistant germs in raw vegetables and salads

The BfR (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) points out in its statement no. 13/2019 of 12 April 2019 that salads, fresh herbs or sprouts pre-cut for consumption and packaged in foil may contain germs that are hazardous to health, such as pathogens and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Although these are only present in small numbers on the products due to precautionary measures from cultivation to sale, they are not inactivated due to the raw consumption of lettuce and fresh herbs, as is the case with meat, for example, by roasting or cooking. The focus of the investigations was on Escherichia coli bacteria - mostly intestinal bacteria that are widely found in some raw vegetable salads, rocket salads and fresh coriander. The investigations showed that E. coli bacteria are partially insensitive to several antibiotics such as tetracycline or penicillins. If these antibiotic-resistant germs are ingested with raw lettuce, there is a risk that the resistance characteristics will be passed on to other bacterial species in the human intestine.

The BfR therefore advises that leaf salads and fresh herbs be thoroughly washed with drinking water before consumption. Sensitive groups such as pregnant women or people with weakened immune systems are advised to prepare their own salads from fresh and thoroughly washed ingredients shortly before consumption.

In our laboratory, we conduct the investigation Escherichia coli and other pathogenic microorganisms on a regular basis. We provide you with fast and reliable results.
Our customer consultants will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Source: Federal Institute for Risk Assessment - http://www.bfr.bund.de