The highly diverse microbiomes of vegetables are reservoirs for opportunistic and emerging pathogens. In recent years, an increased consumption, larger scale production and more efficient distribution of vegetables together with an increased number of immunocompromised individuals resulted in an enhanced number of documented outbreaks of human infections associated with the consumption of vegetables. Here we discuss the occurrence of potential pathogens in vegetable microbiomes, the impact of farming and processing practices, and plant and human health issues. Based on these results, we discuss the question if vegetables can serve as a source of infection for immunocompromised individuals as well as possible solutions to avoid outbreaks. Moreover, the potentially positive aspects of the vegetables microbiome for the gut microbiota and human health are presented.
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