موضوع تلوث مياه نهر الليطاني ليس بالجديد. لطالما تردّد أن الأسباب الرئيسية لتلوّث مياه نهر الليطاني هي غياب النظم الفعّالة لمعالجة مياه الصرف الصحي والنفايات الصناعية السائلة غير المعالجة التي تصبّ كلّها في التربة والمياه وقطع طريق النهر بسد القرعون. وقد تكثّفت الاجتماعات التي كان آخرها أمس للمعالجة، ولكن ما هي المخاطر التي تشكلها تلك…
The Microbiological Safety of Fresh Produce in Lebanon-A holistic “farm -to-fork chain” assessment approach
The consumption of unsafe fresh vegetables has been linked to an increasing number of outbreaks of human infections. In Lebanon, although raw vegetables are major constituents of the national cuisine, studies on the safety of fresh produce are scant. This research employed a holistic approach to identify the different stages of the food chain that contribute to the microbiological risks on fresh produce and the spreading of hazards. A thorough analysis of the institutional and regulatory framework and the socio-political environment showed that the safety of local fresh produce in Lebanon is at risk due to largely unregulated practices and shortfalls in supporting the agricultural environment as influenced by the lack of a political commitment.
Fresh produce has been implicated in a number of documented outbreaks of foodborne illness caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have been detected on vegetables, raising concerns about the prevalence of E. coli contamination in produce, which can take place at various points from farm to fork. The prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli and potential transmission from soils and in the animal production environment to fresh produce at harvest has been documented, as has the further flow of resistance from fresh produce bacteria via gene transfer to enterobacterial strains in humans.The most common route for fresh produce contamination is at the pre-harvest stage, when microorganisms from animal feces, contaminated irrigation water, and wild and domestic animals can be deposited in crops. Even though foodborne disease outbreaks due to contamination of fruit and leafy green vegetables with pathogens have been rarely documented in Lebanon or the whole Middle East Region, they undoubtedly occur based on surveillance data from other regions. Therefore, the study aimed to detect the presence of STEC and multidrug-resistant (MDR) E. coli on fresh vegetables and water from different sources along the fresh produce supply chain in Lebanon.