Microbiological Safety of Strawberries and Lettuce for Domestic Consumption in Egypt
- *Corresponding Author:
- Mieke Uyttendaele
Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
Department of Food Safety and Food Quality
Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation (LFMFP)
Ghent University, Gent, Belgium
Tel: 32 9 264 93 95
Fax: 32 9 255 55 10
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: February 18, 2014; Accepted Date: March 24, 2014; Published Date: April 03, 2014
Citation: Uyttendaele M, Moneim AA, Ceuppens S, Tahan FE (2014) Microbiological Safety of Strawberries and Lettuce for Domestic Consumption in Egypt. J Food Process Technol 5:308. doi: 10.4172/2157-7110.1000308
Copyright: © 2014 Uyttendaele M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Food borne outbreaks with fresh produce are increasingly being reported in developed countries. Food borne illness is an important threat for human health also in developing countries, but data on food safety, in particular related to microbial food safety in fruits and vegetables, the developing world are scarce. In the present study, the sanitary quality and safety of Egyptian lettuce and strawberries, obtained from either primary production or domestic retail market, was assessed by enumeration of faecal indicators organism Escherichia coli and coliforms and the detection of Salmonella spp. Twelve farms in three different regions of Egypt were visited and apart from strawberries (18) and lettuce (18) also samples of soil (12) and irrigation water (12) were obtained. Furthermore, three different types of domestic retail outlets, i.e. open markets, shops and hypermarkets were sampled for strawberries (30) and lettuce (30). Salmonella prevalence in Egyptian domestic fresh produce was very high, namely 42% (20/48) in lettuce and 29% (14/48) in strawberries. The presence of Salmonella was associated with elevated levels of E. coli and coliforms. Observations from this restricted data set suggest that the microbiological quality and safety of lettuce and strawberries in the primary production of Egypt is subjected to considerable regional differences, presumably related to differences in irrigation water quality. Moreover, the microbiological quality and safety of retail lettuce and strawberries increased in accordance with the scale and organization level of the retail outlet.