Microbial Contaminants

Consumer in recent years have expressed considerable concern over the safety of the food supply. Concern has been aimed at the presence of hormones and drugs in meats, preservatives found in food, pesticides, microbial contaminants, and food additives. Reports last year of cyanide in grapes and Alar in apples have fueled the level of concern. This issue of the public's concern over the quality of food was addressed at a conference (the International Conference on Issues in Food Safety and Toxicology) held in the spring of 1990 at Michigan State University (MSU) East Lansing, Mich. The conference was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and MSU's Center for Environmental Toxicology. From various presentations it became apparent that the consumers' perceptions of risks from chemical agents in food differs drastically from the experts' opinions. The experts rank the risk from chemicals below microbial risk or nutritional considerations. The general public perceives the risks to be greatest from the chemical agents. It would be a gross omission to prepare a publication of this nature without providing a list of references for those individuals interested in reading more about IAs developed for detection of pathogenic microbes, particularly bacterial pathogens found in food. Detection of Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxins, Clostridium perfringens type A toxin, Clostridium botulinum toxins, Bacillus cereus enterotoxins, Yersinia enterocolitica toxin, Escherichia coli toxins, Campylbacter jejuni, Aeromonas toxin, and some streptococcol toxins would be desirable with IAs. Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes can also be detected in foods using IA. Table 6 provides a list of

Table 5. List of Selected Immunochemical Methods for Mycotoxin Detection




Aflatoxin Bj

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