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Light, Photosynthesis Help Bacteria Invade Fresh Produce

Exposure to light and possibly photosynthesis itself could be helping disease-causing bacteria to be internalized by lettuce leaves, making them impervious to washing, according to research published in the October issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Salmonella enterica is a common cause of foodborne gastroenteritis, with an estimated number of 1 to 3 million human cases per year in the United States. Fresh produce is increasingly being implicated as a source of infection. One of the largest foodborne outbreaks in recent history, the Salmonella St. Paul outbreak in 2008 which sickened over 1,400 people, was associated with tomatoes and jalapeno peppers.
 
 

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