Browsing by Author "Badenhorst, Adriaan Bernard"
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- ItemThe risk of pathogenic microbiological contamination of South African fresh fruit for the export and local market(Stellenbsoch : Stellenbosch University, 2020-03) Badenhorst, Adriaan Bernard; Gouws, P. A.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of AgriSciences. Dept. of Food Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In South Africa microbiological safety of fresh fruit is not verified independently, and microbiological safety of fruit depends on producers and implementers of food safety systems and food safety auditors. Research and documented outbreaks of food poison incidents indicates that pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes are associated with the fruit production and packing environment. The mechanisms of contamination in these environments were well established, but the amount of fruit produced makes it difficult to determine risk by doing microbiological analysis on randomly drawn samples from export batches or consignments of fruit. This study investigated the microbiological safety of fresh fruit produced in South Africa. Results from microbiological testing on samples drawn from fruit exported to Indonesia, which was the only export market requiring batch microbiological analysis, was used. 2688 Samples were analysed, including citrus fruit, pome fruit and table grapes for the presence of Salmonella and E. coli. Only 3 pear samples tested positive for E. coli, but still within acceptable levels. This study also indicated that consumers need to be educated on food safety principles in selecting and consuming fresh fruit, as some fruit varieties proved to be at higher risk than others for example, melons were classified as high risk as opposed to citrus fruit which was of low risk. The study emphasized the importance of food safety programs in making sure that fresh fruit was produced and packed in environments where microbiological risks was managed. It also confirmed that environmental microbiological testing is the preferred tool in determining risk and prevention of microbiological contamination. A final important factor established was that implementers of food safety systems should have good knowledge of microbiological risks in their environments and be able to interpret microbiological analysis correctly to prevent contamination of fruit produced. Authorities evaluating the implementation of food safety systems should be equipped with suitable knowledge.