Infection could spread to the food industry

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Clostridium difficile, Antibiotic resistance

The infection Clostridium Difficile (C.Diff), mainly associated with antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and colitis in hospitals among elderly patients,...

The infection Clostridium Difficile (C.Diff)​, mainly associated with antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and colitis in hospitals among elderly patients, could become an issue for the food industry, according to a leading scientist.

Professor Chris Griffith, head of the Food Research & Consultancy Unit at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff, said increasing numbers of C.Diff​ spores were now being discovered in meat samples, as it became an emerging pathogen in animals.

"Watch this space," Griffith said in a lecture at last month's Foodex Meatex exhibition in Birmingham. "Atypical cases of C.Diff​ are now being found." He went on to ask: "Is the organism changing?"

Meanwhile the European Food Safety Authority has just launched a public consultation into antimicrobial resistant bacteria, which can be passed on to humans through food.

Although this mainly concentrates on the use of veterinary antibiotics, rather than possible resistance associated with the use of disinfectants, said consultant microbiologist Dr Slim Dinsdale, it will cover some aspects of food processing, such as possible mutation or transformation of bacteria associated with the use of heat and ultraviolet light.

It will also cover probiotics and cultures for other foods such as yoghurts and cured meats.

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