November 10/College Park, Md./Food Safety Bulletin -- Blackberry juice has natural antimicrobial properties that inhibit the growth of foodborne pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria, according to a study in an ahead-of-print issue of Food Control.  Each year, about 48 million Americans gets food poisoning. Of those,  128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. E.coli, Listeria and Salmonella are responsible for many of those infections.

The research team, from the University of Maryland in College Park included Hongshun Yanga, Daniel Hewesa, Serajus Salaheena, Cassandra Federmana, Debabrata Biswasa. They added 10% solution of blackberry juice to broth and milk containing cultures of the pathogens and measured bacterial levels at 0, 24, 48 and 72 hours.

They found that blackberry juice “significantly inhibited: growth of all three pathogens at each measurement.They concluded that diluted blackberry juice is a natural antimicrobial that could prevent foodborne infections used in food processing.

Multi-state food poisoning outbreaks account for a sliver of total outbreaks in the U.S. So far this year, there have been five multi-state Salmonella outbreaks including the ongoing outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken that has sickened at least 362 people in 21 states. The Salmonella strains involved in that  outbreak are drug-resistant, about 40% of people sickened  have required hospitalization. There has also been 1 multi-state E. coli outbreak linked to frozen foods that sickened 35 people in 19 states and one listeriosis outbreak linked to cheese that sickened six people and killed one of them.