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Book Chapter


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Published by InTech


Food-borne illness as a result of consumption of foods contaminated with pathogenic bacteria is a world-wide concern. The presence and subsequent growth of micro-organisms in food in addition to improper storage not only results in spoilage but also in a reduction of food quality. The microbiological safety in ready to eat products is a cause of big concern not only for the consumers and food industries but also for the regulatory agencies. The number of documented outbreaks of foodborne diseases has increased in the last decade with Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli being responsible for the largest number of outbreaks and deaths.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported Salmonella to be the most common cause of food-borne outbreaks in the EU (EFSA, 2009). As high as 50,000 and 35,000 people were reported to be suffering from salmonellosis in the Netherlands during 1999-2000 and 2002, respectively (Bouwknegt et al., 2003). The symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and fever. Salmonella enterica Typhimurium and Salmonella enterica Enteritidis are the most frequently isolated serovars in the EU which are responsible for diarrhoea and fever (EFSA-ECDC, 2007). Some strains of Salmonella such as S. Senftenberg are more heat resistant than other strains. Even in the United States, Salmonella is considered to be one of the most prevalent bacteria amongst the foodborne pathogens, causing an estimated 1.6 million foodborne illnesses with annual cost of ~$14 billion. Salmonella Typhimurium has been implicated in the US as the major causative agent for food borne salmonellosis.