Raw vegetables pose a risk to consumer health

A recently published study by researchers from the Julius Kuhn Institute on antimicrobial resistant bacteria, focusing on transfer resistance in fresh vegetables, raises concerns on the consumption of raw vegetables. For this study, specialists bought different types of mixed salads found in large shops. Samples were analysed to determine the total quantity of transferable antimicrobial resistant genes. The experts concentrated on the ‘Escherichia coli’ bacteria which is resistant to the active substance named Tetracycline.

The results indicated that there are many of these transferable bacteria, with resistant genes from E.coli, in fresh products. According to researchers, each of these bacteria causes resistance to certain types of antibiotics. E.coli bacteria was also found in the products tested. Considering that these bacteria were found in vegetables frequently consumed by people, this poses a risk to consumer health.

What instruments does the Commission have at its disposal to ensure increased food safety for consumers of fresh vegetables?