Unfortunately an increasing number of outbreaks of foodborne illnesses are attributed to the consumption of raw, ready-to-eat foods which are stored at ambient temperatures, for example, salad vegetable’s, melons, raspberries and unpasteurised apple juice. As these foods do not usually support the multiplication of pathogens, the organisms involved are capable of causing illness in very low numbers, for example, viruses, E.coli O157, shigella and parasites.
Salmonella outbreaks have been associated with cut melon, lettuce and apple juice. Lettuce, raspberries and apple juice have been the food vehicle for outbreaks of viral illness and E.coli O157. Sewage contamination or bad hygiene practices during harvesting are the most likely causes of the outbreaks. Ready-to-eat Raw foods should be washed, preferably disinfected and, as good practice, stored under refrigeration.