Exploration of the known foodborne enteric health risks associated with plant-based and/or simulated meat, poultry, and seafood products: A scoping review protocol
Background Foodborne enteric pathogens significantly contribute to the number of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths in Canada, affecting approximately 4 million Canadians annually. The FoodNet Canada program employs active surveillance of human, water, farm, and retail (meat and produce) sources to identify the burden of enteric disease on Canadian communities. Despite the increasing popularity of plant-based and simulated meat, poultry and seafood globally, little is known about the risk of enteric illness associated with these products. Hence, this scoping review aims to explore the available literature and determine the following: (i) the current understanding of global foodborne health risks associated with plant-based and simulated meat, poultry, and seafood products; (ii) the enteric pathogens of concern associated with these products; and (iii) the utility of adding these products to the retail surveillance component of FoodNet Canada. Methods/Design Screening will be conducted in two phases based on the determined eligibility criteria. Both primary research and grey literature, in English or French, detailing either a study, an outbreak, a recall, or a contamination event due to an enteric pathogen for plant-based/simulated meats, poultry, or seafood products will be considered for inclusion. There are no inclusion criteria based on the type of article included. Searches will be conducted in PubMed ®, Scopus ®, Embase ®, and Web of Science TM. Grey literature sources such as Google Scholar and the websites of relevant international public health and food safety organizations will also be searched. Charting Methods Data charting will include the following: study characteristics; identification of the enteric pathogens; classification of the affected product as either plant-based or simulated meat/poultry/seafood; cause of product contamination; and other applicable characteristics associated with the outbreak, recall, or risk of the product. Findings will be summarized through narrative synthesis and presented through a series of tables and figures.