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1.
PLoS One ; 17(5): e0268628, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933283

ABSTRACT

Strychnos madagascariensis is an underutilized South African fruit-bearing tree, with the pulp being the primary consumable component. However, the seeds hold the potential as a food source due to their high nutrient composition. The aim of this study was to determine the physical properties of S. madagascariensis fruit and seeds to aid in food processing equipment development. Fruit physical properties were determined at four progressive ripening stages, as well as the seed physical properties and mineral composition. The pulp contributed the most towards fruit composition across stages of ripeness (c 50%), followed by the rind (c 30%) and seeds (c 20%). Furthermore, significant variations in seed physical properties were observed at progressive maturity stages. The seeds showed significantly greater mineral compositions in unripe-green fruit in comparison to fruit at progressive ripening stages. The data provided may serve as a basis for the development of processing procedures and equipment and suggests that seeds of unripe-green fruit hold greater nutritional benefits.


Subject(s)
Fruit , Nutritive Value , Seeds , Strychnos , Food Handling
2.
Clin Nutr ESPEN ; 49: 348-356, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1872986

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Consumption of ultra-processed foods is negatively associated with health outcomes, however, the contribution to sleep quality is limited. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the association between food intake by frequency and degree of processing and sleep quality in adults during the covid-19 pandemic. METHODS: Population-based survey of adults from October to December 2020 in the Iron Quadrangle region, Brazil. The exposure variable was a food intake score that considered the frequency of consumption and food processing degree. The total score ranged from 0 (best) to 48 points (worst food quality), categorized into quartiles. Furthermore, we also evaluated whether individuals replaced their lunch and/or dinner based mostly on fresh/minimally processed foods for ultra-processed foods, for five or more days in the week. The outcome variable was sleep quality assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. We constructed a contrasting directed acyclic graph (DAG) model to estimate the adjusted odds ratio of the association between score eating and sleep, by logistic regression. RESULTS: Most of the 1762 individuals evaluated had poor sleep quality (52.5%). The minimum and maximum food scores were 0 and 30 points (mean 9.16; 95% CI 8.50, 9.81). The higher values of the score corresponded to lower consumption of fresh and minimally processed foods and higher consumption of ultraprocessed foods. In multivariate analysis, individuals in the third food consumption score had 71% greater odds of poor sleep quality (OR = 1.71; 95% CI: 1.03, 2.85) and in the fourth quartile 144% greater odds (OR = 2.44; 95% CI: 1.32, 2.44). Besides, replacing the dinner meal with ultra-processed foods five days or more in the week was also associated with poor sleep quality (OR = 2.01; 95%CI: 1.14, 3.57). CONCLUSION: Higher consumption of ultra-processed foods concomitant with lower consumption of fresh and minimally processed foods is associated with a higher chance of poor sleep quality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Fast Foods/adverse effects , Food Handling , Humans , Pandemics , Sleep Quality
3.
J Food Prot ; 84(7): 1239-1251, 2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810920

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: Cross-contamination of raw food to other surfaces, hands, and foods is a serious issue in food service. With individuals eating more meals away from home, contracting a foodborne illness from a food service establishment is an increasing concern. However, most studies have concentrated on hands or food contact surfaces and neglected atypical and unusual surfaces (surfaces that are not typically identified as a source of cross-contamination) and venues. This review was conducted to identify atypically cross-contaminated surfaces and atypical venues where cross-contamination could occur that have not been examined thoroughly in the literature. Most surfaces that could be at risk for cross-contamination are frequently touched, are rarely cleaned and sanitized, and can support the persistence and/or growth of foodborne pathogens. These surfaces include menus, spice and condiment containers, aprons and coveralls, mobile devices and tablets, and money. Venues that are explored, such as temporary events, mobile vendors, and markets, are usually limited in space or infrastructure, have low compliance with proper hand washing, and provide the opportunity for raw and ready-to-eat foods to come into contact with one another. These factors create an environment in which cross-contamination can occur and potentially impact food safety. A more comprehensive cleaning and sanitizing regime encompassing these surfaces and venues could help mitigate cross-contamination. This review highlights key surfaces and venues that have the potential to be cross-contaminated and have been underestimated or not fully investigated. These knowledge gaps indicate where further work is needed to fully understand the role of these surfaces and venues in cross-contamination and how it can be prevented.


Subject(s)
Food Services , Foodborne Diseases , Food Contamination/analysis , Food Handling , Food Microbiology , Food Safety , Hand , Hand Disinfection , Humans
4.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0259851, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648799

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are increasing at an alarming rate throughout the world, including Ethiopia. Food handlers in food and drink establishments are at high risk of exposure to the virus due to their many daily contacts with customers. Since there is a paucity of evidence about infection prevention practices and associated factors among this high-risk group in Ethiopia including in Dessie City and Kombolcha Town, this study was designed to address this gap. METHOD: An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 422 food handlers in Dessie City and Kombolcha Town food and drink establishments in July and August 2020. The study participants were selected using a simple random sampling technique. Data were collected by trained data collectors using a pretested structured questionnaire and an on-the-spot observational checklist. Data were entered into EpiData version 4.6 and exported to STATA version 14.0 for data cleaning and analysis. Data were analyzed using bivariable and multivariable logistic regression model at 95% confidence interval (CI). From the bivariable analysis, variables with a p-value <0.25 were retained into multivariable analysis. Finally, variables that had a p-value <0.05 were declared as factors significantly associated with good infection prevention practices of COVID-19 among food handlers. MAIN FINDINGS: The overall rate of good practice in infection prevention among food handlers was 43.9% (95% CI: 39.2-48.4%). Among the total 401 food handlers, 79.8% had good knowledge and 58.4% had a favorable attitude about COVID-19 infection prevention. Factors significantly associated with good COVID-19 infection prevention practices were: educational status of college or above (AOR = 1.97; 95% CI: 1.32-3.75), food handling work experience greater than five years (AOR = 2.55; 95% CI: 1.43-5.77), availability of written guidelines within the food and drink establishment (AOR = 2.68; 95% CI: 1.52-4.75), and taking training about infection prevention (AOR = 3.26; 95% CI: 1.61-6.61). CONCLUSION: Our findings showed that around one-third of food handlers had good infection prevention practices. Thus, to reduce COVID-19 transmission, integrated work is urgently needed to further improve food handlers' good practices, knowledge and attitude about infection prevention through providing health education, training and by making written infection prevention guidelines available in food and drink establishments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Food Handling/methods , Foodborne Diseases/prevention & control , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Infection Control/methods , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Educational Status , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Food Handling/ethics , Foodborne Diseases/epidemiology , Guidelines as Topic , Humans , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Surveys and Questionnaires
5.
J Food Prot ; 85(3): 518-526, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560770

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: There is limited examination about coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19)-related food handling concerns and practices that cause chemical or microbial contamination and illness, particularly among those with food insecurity. We investigated consumer food handling concerns and practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether they differed by food insecurity status. An online survey was distributed among Chicago, IL, residents between 15 July and 21 August 2020 (n = 437). Independent t tests and Fisher's exact tests were used to identify differences in food handling concerns and practices between those with and without food insecurity (alpha = 0.05). Survey items included questions about food handling practices that were considered safe or neutral (i.e., washing hands and produce with water, sanitizing food packaging) and unsafe (i.e., using cleaning agents to wash foods, leaving perishable foods outside) by using 5-point Likert-style scales or categorical responses (i.e., yes, no). Participant responses fell between "slightly" and "somewhat" concerned about contracting COVID-19 from food and food packaging (mean ± standard error [SE]: 2.7 ± 0.1). Although participants reported washing their hands before eating and before preparing foods at least "most of the time" (mean ± SE: 4.4 ± 0.0 and 4.5 ± 0.0, respectively), only one-third engaged in unsafe practices. The majority of participants (68%) indicated that they altered food handling practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic and received information about food safety from social media (61%). When investigating differences in concerns and practices by food insecurity status, food insecure participants were more concerned about COVID-19 foodborne transmission for all food items (all P < 0.001) and more frequently performed unsafe food handling practices than those with food security (all P < 0.001). Results from this study suggest more investigation is needed to understand barriers to safe food handling knowledge and practices, particularly among those with food insecurity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Handling , Food Security , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Nutrition ; 91-92: 111419, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410478

ABSTRACT

In recent years, consumption of ultra-processed food around the world has been increasing. The nutritional profile of an ultra-processed diet is associated with the development of cellular alterations that lead to oxidative stress. The chronic prooxidative state leads to an environment that influences the proliferation, apoptosis, and signaling pathways of immune cells. Likewise, the decrease in the transcription factor NRF2, owing to exacerbated production of reactive oxygen species, leads to changes in immune function and response to infections. This review aims to analyze the connection between an ultra-processed diet, systemic oxidative stress, and immune tolerance, as a contribution to the scientific evidence on the impact of oxidative stress on health and the possible risk of infections-an important consideration in the association of eating pattern and the immune response.


Subject(s)
Diet , Fast Foods , Feeding Behavior , Food Handling , Immune Tolerance , Oxidative Stress
8.
Public Health Nutr ; 24(11): 3177-3178, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1324400
9.
Nutrients ; 13(6)2021 Jun 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273494

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Nutritional status influences immunity but its specific association with susceptibility to COVID-19 remains unclear. We examined the association of specific dietary data and incident COVID-19 in the UK Biobank (UKB). METHODS: We considered UKB participants in England with self-reported baseline (2006-2010) data and linked them to Public Health England COVID-19 test results-performed on samples from combined nose/throat swabs, using real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-between March and November 2020. Baseline diet factors included breastfed as baby and specific consumption of coffee, tea, oily fish, processed meat, red meat, fruit, and vegetables. Individual COVID-19 exposure was estimated using the UK's average monthly positive case rate per specific geo-populations. Logistic regression estimated the odds of COVID-19 positivity by diet status adjusting for baseline socio-demographic factors, medical history, and other lifestyle factors. Another model was further adjusted for COVID-19 exposure. RESULTS: Eligible UKB participants (n = 37,988) were 40 to 70 years of age at baseline; 17% tested positive for COVID-19 by SAR-CoV-2 PCR. After multivariable adjustment, the odds (95% CI) of COVID-19 positivity was 0.90 (0.83, 0.96) when consuming 2-3 cups of coffee/day (vs. <1 cup/day), 0.88 (0.80, 0.98) when consuming vegetables in the third quartile of servings/day (vs. lowest quartile), 1.14 (1.01, 1.29) when consuming fourth quartile servings of processed meats (vs. lowest quartile), and 0.91 (0.85, 0.98) when having been breastfed (vs. not breastfed). Associations were attenuated when further adjusted for COVID-19 exposure, but patterns of associations remained. CONCLUSIONS: In the UK Biobank, consumption of coffee, vegetables, and being breastfed as a baby were favorably associated with incident COVID-19; intake of processed meat was adversely associated. Although these findings warrant independent confirmation, adherence to certain dietary behaviors may be an additional tool to existing COVID-19 protection guidelines to limit the spread of this virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Coffee , Diet , Feeding Behavior , Meat , Nutritional Status , Vegetables , Aged , Biological Specimen Banks , Breast Feeding , COVID-19/virology , England , Female , Food Handling , Humans , Incidence , Infant , Logistic Models , Male , Middle Aged , Public Health , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
10.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 905-912, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1191602

ABSTRACT

Without an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the build-up of herd immunity through natural infection has been suggested as a means to control COVID-19. Although population immunity is typically estimated by the serological investigation of recovered patients, humoral immunity in asymptomatic subjects has not been well studied, although they represent a large proportion of all SARS-CoV-2 infection cases. In this study, we conducted a serosurvey of asymptomatic infections among food workers and performed serological and cellular response analyses of asymptomatic subjects in Wuhan, the original epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. Our data showed that up to 5.91% of the food workers carried SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies asymptomatically; however, in 90.4% of them, the antibody level declined over a 2-week period. IgM and IgG antibodies, including neutralizing antibodies, were significantly lower in asymptomatic subjects than in recovered symptomatic patients with similar disease courses. Furthermore, the asymptomatic subjects showed lymphopenia and a prominent decrease in the B-cell population, as well as a low frequency of antibody-secreting cells and a low cytokine response. These factors probably contributed to the low and unsustained antibody levels in asymptomatic subjects. Our results show that asymptomatic subjects are likely to be vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 reinfection, and neither the proportion of population immunity nor the breadth of immune responses is sufficient for herd immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , B-Lymphocytes , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , China/epidemiology , Convalescence , Cytokines/blood , Disease Susceptibility , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Follow-Up Studies , Food Handling , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immunity, Herd , Immunoglobulin G/biosynthesis , Immunoglobulin M/biosynthesis , Lymphocyte Count , Lymphopenia/etiology , Phylogeny , RNA, Viral/blood , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Sputum/virology
11.
J Food Prot ; 84(7): 1176-1187, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119607

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: At present, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has not been shown to be transmitted through food. Even so, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has changed how consumers view food and food safety. This study assessed consumer food safety practices during the COVID-19 pandemic using (i) surveys and (ii) online focus group discussions. From April to August 2020, five waves of surveys were distributed to an online U.S. consumer panel and screened to include only primary food preparers and grocery shoppers. The online focus groups were conducted via WebEx from May to July 2020. Focus group participants were recruited from the first wave of survey respondents. Both survey respondents and focus group participants reported higher levels of hand washing in response to the pandemic. However, survey participants' anticipated levels of hand washing after the pandemic decreased; some focus group participants noted that human nature "kicking in" could lead to lower levels of hand hygiene practice. For each of the 5 months, the surveys reported increased produce washing, both with water only and with water plus soap. Most focus group participants mentioned using water to wash their produce, but some reported using soap and even vinegar to "kill" the virus. Since consumers were worried that SARS-CoV-2 could survive on food, they started to mishandle food to address these concerns. However, this study also reported an increase in food thermometer use during the pandemic. Social determinants like gender, income, education, and age may have also influenced changes in levels of practice throughout the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic drove consumers to practice proper and improper food safety practices, which may or may not continue after the pandemic. This study's findings provide timely information to guide future food safety education and communication during health crises and pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Food Handling , Humans , Needs Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States
12.
Epidemiol Prev ; 44(5-6 Suppl 2): 334-339, 2020.
Article in Italian | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1068155

ABSTRACT

Aim of this paper is to describe the management of an outbreak of COVID-19 in a slaughtering and meat processing plant in Bari Province (Southern Italy). At the end of the outbreak investigation, 18.4% of the employees were positive to the molecular test for SARS-CoV-2. Higher prevalence has been reported in the bovine slaughtering house and swine meat processing plant.In addition to lack of physical distancing and correct use of personal protective equipment, the spread of the virus has been eased by low level of literacy, indoor microclimate, intensive working time, and aerosol-generating procedures in specific areas of the processing plant where more positive cases have been detected. The analysis of this cluster may suggest specific actions to prevent similar outbreaks in the future.


Subject(s)
Abattoirs/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Food Handling , Food Industry/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Meat , Occupational Diseases/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Abattoirs/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aerosols , Air Pollution, Indoor , Animals , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Cattle , Contact Tracing , Databases, Factual , Educational Status , Equipment Contamination , Female , Food Handling/instrumentation , Food Handling/methods , Food Handling/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment , Sheep , Swine
13.
Public Health Nutr ; 24(2): 321-326, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1053944

ABSTRACT

The food information environment includes food advertising disseminated in various media. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of schools, universities, non-essential commerce, public leisure areas, bars, restaurants, among others, the food information environment has changed in Brazil. People spent more time at home which led to greater exposure to television and internet advertising content. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the food production sector has invested in new ways to advertise their products that include advertising messages of support, empathy and solidarity, as well as social responsibility campaigns looking for self-promotion such as food donation and financial aids. Sponsoring online events promoted by Brazilian musicians on social media was also enhanced during the pandemic and allowed food companies to become part of the consumer's leisure and entertainment moments. The advertising strategies adopted by the food industry during the COVID-19 pandemic are used to generate market demands, influence the consumer purchase decision and increase their loyalty to the supplier brands. Consequently, individuals may have been more vulnerable to excessive consumption of ultra-processed foods during this health crisis. This commentary aims to describe the changes in the food information environment during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil and propose a pathway to promote a healthier food information environment after this health crisis. Perspectives for promoting a healthier food information environment after the pandemic are also discussed, focusing on regulating food advertising with a shared responsibility between government, the food industry, the academy and civil society.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Food Industry , Marketing , Advertising , Brazil , Commerce , Consumer Behavior , Diet, Healthy , Fast Foods , Food Handling , Health Promotion , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Media , Television
15.
Nutrients ; 12(11)2020 Nov 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-909114

ABSTRACT

Past public health crises (e.g., tobacco, alcohol, opioids, cholera, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), lead, pollution, venereal disease, even coronavirus (COVID-19) have been met with interventions targeted both at the individual and all of society. While the healthcare community is very aware that the global pandemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has its origins in our Western ultraprocessed food diet, society has been slow to initiate any interventions other than public education, which has been ineffective, in part due to food industry interference. This article provides the rationale for such public health interventions, by compiling the evidence that added sugar, and by proxy the ultraprocessed food category, meets the four criteria set by the public health community as necessary and sufficient for regulation-abuse, toxicity, ubiquity, and externalities (How does your consumption affect me?). To their credit, some countries have recently heeded this science and have instituted sugar taxation policies to help ameliorate NCDs within their borders. This article also supplies scientific counters to food industry talking points, and sample intervention strategies, in order to guide both scientists and policy makers in instituting further appropriate public health measures to quell this pandemic.


Subject(s)
Behavior, Addictive/prevention & control , Diet , Dietary Sugars/adverse effects , Fast Foods/adverse effects , Food Industry/legislation & jurisprudence , Noncommunicable Diseases/prevention & control , Public Health , Behavior, Addictive/etiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Feeding Behavior , Food Handling/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Obesity/etiology , Obesity/prevention & control , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Public Policy , Social Control, Formal , Taxes
17.
Food Res Int ; 136: 109472, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-623384

ABSTRACT

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commercial restaurant sector is struggling to organize itself. Resilience is crucial for a system to be able to respond adequately to events of this magnitude, and is aimed at the recovery and adaptation of the concerned sector in view of the adversities. In the commercial restaurant sector, resilience efforts are primarily intended to protect the health of both those who consume food and those who produce it. Amid the creative initiatives of individuals within their workplaces, restaurants, even unconsciously, seek to build resilience in the pandemic by applying the food safety practices recommended by the sanitary legislation and remaining economically active. Targeting public health preparedness, in this letter, we present an overview of the stages of resilience and their interaction with the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of commercial restaurants.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Food Handling , Food Safety , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Public Health , Restaurants , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Commerce , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Food Contamination , Foodborne Diseases , Health Planning , Humans , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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