Pathogenic Yeast and Food Spoilage
Food spoilage due to bacteria and\or yeast contamination can be a costly problem for the food industry. Recent progress in DNA analysis has enabled rapid, accurate yeast identification methods to be developed. Armed with this precision identification it is possible to predict and eliminate the source of contamination. Some yeast are psychrophilic, and so they can grow at relatively low temperatures. In fact, the fermentation of wine and beer is often carried out at temperatures near 40°F. Because some kinds are psychrophiles, they can create a spoilage problem in meat coolers and other refrigerated storage areas. Because they can grow under conditions of high salt or sugar content, they can cause the spoilage of certain foods in which bacteria would not grow. Foods produced by the bacterial fermentation process, such as pickles and sauerkraut, can also be spoiled by yeasts which interfere with the normal fermentative process. While certain yeasts are pathogenic, yeast infections are much less common than bacterial infections. Food borne illness continues to be an urgent issue across the globe. The epidemiology of food borne disease is changing. New pathogens have emerged, and some have spread worldwide. These pathogens cause millions of cases of sporadic illness and chronic diseases, as well as large and challenging outbreaks over many states and nations.