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Contaminated Environments and Food Products can Cause Shigellosis

EMSL Analytical offers testing services for food products and environmental samples to identify Shigella and other microbial pathogens.


Cinnaminson, NJ, March 19, 2013
Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria known as Shigella. Each year, approximately 14,000 cases of shigellosis are reported in the United States, but because many milder cases are not diagnosed or reported, the actual number of infections may be many times greater.
Most people who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they have been exposed. Shigella bacteria can pass from one infected person to the next. Shigella are present in the diarrheal stools of infected persons while they are sick and for up to a week or two afterwards. Most Shigella infections are the result of the organism passing from stools or soiled fingers of one person to the mouth of another person. Basic hygiene, hand washing and surface disinfection are crucial to prevent the spread of the organism. 
“Shigella infections may be acquired from eating contaminated food,” reported Joy Dell’Aringa, M.S., RM (NRM), CFSP, National Food Director at EMSL Analytical, Inc., a leading food allergen and labeling company. “Food may become contaminated by infected food handlers who have not properly washed their hands after using the restroom and produce in the field can become contaminated if it is harvested from a field with sewage in it. Flies can also breed in infected feces and then contaminate food products,” she continued.
Shigella, and others types of bacteria such as E. coli, are also a concern when sewage has contaminated an indoor environment due to a flood or sanitary sewer overflow. Water may become contaminated with Shigella if it contains sewage or if someone with shigellosis swims in or plays with it.
EMSL has sponsored an online video about Shigella and shigellosis that can be seen at:
To learn more about testing for microbial contaminants in food products or environmental samples, please visit: or, call (800) 220-3675 or email .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of food, environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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