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Prevalence and Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Bacterial Pathogens in Ready-to-Eat Foods Retailed in Osaka Prefecture, Japan

Harada, Tetsuya, Taguchi, Masumi, Kawahara, Ryuji, Kanki, Masashi, Kawatsu, Kentaro
Journal of food protection 2018 v.81 no.9 pp. 1450-1458
Citrobacter, Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Serratia marcescens, antibiotic resistance, bacterial growth, cakes, cephalosporins, chromosomes, cross infection, desserts, enterotoxins, fish, food contamination, foodborne bacterial pathogens, fosfomycin, genes, human health, humans, methicillin, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, pickled vegetables, quinolones, ready-to-eat foods, risk, seafoods, virulent strains, Japan
The potential human health risk of Japanese ready-to-eat (RTE) foods was investigated by determining the contamination by foodborne bacterial pathogens, the prevalence of opportunistic and nosocomial pathogens, and the antibiotic susceptibility of the isolates recovered from 96 samples of lightly pickled vegetables, 88 samples of Western-style desserts, and 98 samples of RTE fish and seafood products sold at retail in Osaka, Japan. Staphylococcus aureus, including isolates producing staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE), were isolated from six lightly pickled vegetable products, seven Western-style dessert products, and three RTE fish and seafood products. Of these isolates, one SEC-producing isolate from a cake was identified as community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus, which was multilocus sequence type 8 and staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec type IV. Enterobacteriaceae species, including Escherichia coli, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Serratia marcescens, Citrobacter freundii–Citrobacter braakii, and/or the Enterobacter cloacae complex, were isolated from 92 (95.8%) of the lightly pickled vegetable products, 39 (44.3%) of the Western-style dessert products, and 74 (75.5%) of the RTE fish and seafood products. On the basis of the antimicrobial susceptibility profiles of the opportunistic and nosocomial Enterobacteriaceae pathogens, the third-generation cephalosporin, fosfomycin, and quinolone resistance determinants were investigated. We detected AmpC products of the CIT group and a qnrB9 product in 5 and 1 C. freundii–C. braakii isolates, respectively, and fosA gene products in 15 E. cloacae complex isolates. Because RTE foods are consumed without a heating process, the spread of bacterial pathogens from contaminated food to human consumers is possible. RTE foods must be handled using hygienic procedures from the processing steps to the table to reduce the prevalence of potentially pathogenic or pathogenic bacteria and to prevent bacterial growth.