Bacteriological Quality of Fresh Vegetables Salad Sold in Schools Canteens and Restaurants in Gaza Strip-Palestine

Abdelraouf A Elmanama, Hashem Z Arafa, Samia M Abu-Owda

Abstract


This research aimed to investigate the bacteriological quality of fresh vegetables salad sold in the local school canteens and restaurants in Gaza strip, Palestine. Samples examined included different types of fresh vegetables salad. A total of 200 random samples were collected from school canteens (100 samples) and different restaurants (100 samples) in Mid Zone, Khan Younis and Rafah governorates during the period from April to June 2013. All samples were examined for Total Plate Count, Total Coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Listeria spp., L. monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., and E. coli O157:H7. Eighty eight percentage of vegetables salad samples failed to comply with Guidelines for the microbiological examination of ready-to-eat foods, Food Standards Australia New Zealand. The percentage of failure is distributed as follows; 79.5% with Total Plate Count, 60.5% with Total Coliform bacteria, 53.5% with E. coli, 21.5% with S. aureus, 14% B. cereus, 7.5% Listeria spp., 2% L. monocytogenes, 5% Salmonella spp., 1%  Shigella spp., and 1% E. coli O157:H7. In this study the mixed vegetables salad samples were showed the highest non-compliant. Moreover, several potential pathogens were isolated; Cronobacter sakazakii (12.5%; 25), Pasteurella spp. (3%; 6) and Aeromonas hydrophila (0.5%; 1). The results indicated that the tested vegetables salads had poor microbiological quality, and could act as a vehicle for food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Shigella spp., E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes, which justifies the necessity for the urgent actions to promote awareness about the possible health hazards.


Keywords


Vegetables salad, Bacteriological quality, Foodborne pathogens, Indicator bacteria, Gaza strip.

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