Prevalence of Clostridium botulinum and thermophilic heat-resistant spores in raw carrots and green beans used in French canning industry

Abstract : Two categories of vegetables (carrots and green beans) that are widely used in the manufacture of canned food were surveyed for their spore contamination. Samples were recovered from 10 manufactures spread over all producing areas in France. Two samples over 316 raw vegetables collected were found positive for botulinum neurotoxin producing Clostridia spores as tested by PCR-based GeneDisc assay. Both positive samples tested positive for the type B neurotoxin gene (bont/B). In parallel, heat-resistant spores of thermophilic bacteria that are likely to be associated with canned food spoilage after prolonged incubation at 55 degrees C were surveyed after specific enrichment. Prevalence varied between 1.6% for Moorella thermoacetica/thermoautotrophica in green bean samples and 8.6% for either Geobacillus stearothermophilus or Thermoanaerobacterium spp. in carrot samples. Vegetable preparation, e.g. washing and edge cutting, considerably reduced spore contamination levels. These data constitute the first wide examination of vegetables specifically cultivated for industrial purposes for their contamination by spores of thermophilic bacterial species. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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V. Sevenier, S. Delannoy, Stéphane André, P. Fach, Fabienne Remize. Prevalence of Clostridium botulinum and thermophilic heat-resistant spores in raw carrots and green beans used in French canning industry. International Journal of Food Microbiology, Elsevier, 2012, 155 (3), pp.263--268. ⟨10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2012.02.009⟩. ⟨hal-01201602⟩

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