Examining the Presence of Cronobacter spp. in Ready-to-eat Edible Insects

Jake Greenhalgh, Daniel Amund

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Edible insects present a potential solution to increasing global food insecurity. However, there is limited research on the microbial hazards they may pose. These include opportunistic pathogens like Cronobacter spp. (formerly Enterobacter sakazakii). In this study, nine types of ready-to-eat edible insect products purchased in the UK were examined for their microbial load (total aerobic count, total Enterobacteriaceae count), and screened for the presence of Cronobacter sakazakii(C. sakazakii) by selective enrichment and plating on chromogenic agar. While microbial load was generally low, presumptive Cronobacter spp. were detected in five of the edible insect products. Four of the isolates were identified as C. sakazakii, using the Remel RapID ONE biochemical test kit. Genotypic characterisation of the isolates by ITS-PCR, however, demonstrated that the isolates may be other species of Cronobacter instead. Further studies into understanding microbial hazards linked to edible insects for human consumption are required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-78
Number of pages5
JournalFood Safety
Issue number3
Early online date24 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is an open access article distributed under the term of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


  • Cronobacter
  • entomophagy
  • food safety
  • PCR
  • RTE foods


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