Climate change and food safety: Temperature impact on the attachment of Escherichia coli pathogroups on cress leaf


Journal of Food Safety, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jfs.13059
  • Journal Name: Journal of Food Safety
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ABI/INFORM, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, Hospitality & Tourism Complete, Hospitality & Tourism Index, INSPEC, Veterinary Science Database
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


Climate change and its worldwide effects are undeniable. Temperature increase due to climate change may affect foodborne pathogen survival on fresh produce. This study aimed to present an evaluation of climate change impact regarding temperature rise situations, on attachment of different pathogenic Escherichia coli strains on cress grown under controlled conditions. EHEC O157:H7, EAEC O104:H4 and EPEC O26 were inoculated with initial inoculum concentration of 8 log MPN/mL at different stages during growth to observe how inoculation time (7, 14, 21 and 28 days post sowing; dps) and route (seed and leaves) affect pathogen load on fresh produce. This study revealed that temperature increase designed according to mitigation scenarios for climate change (+2, +4 and +6 °C) did not cause any considerable change in pathogen persistence on leaf at 30 dps (~4.5 to 7 log MPN/g). In plants contaminated at later stage (21 and 28 dps), higher bacterial populations were obtained for all temperatures studied. Our results show that E. coli translocated towards leaf portions from seed and established significant amount of pathogen load on leaf (~4 to 5.3 log MPN/g). Also, inoculated bacteria have tightly bound to leaf (~3.5 to 7 log MPN/g) and cannot be eliminated by washing. Although persistence of E. coli O157:H7, O104:H4 and O26 did not differ significantly according to temperature, the bacterial load on the leaves was above infectious dose for humans.