Microbiological quality and salmonella spp/listeria monocytogenes of spices in Turkey
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Spices contaminated with pathogens may contaminate the food to which they are added and therefore, they pose a great risk to public health. In this study, 250 spices samples (50 samples each of red sweet pepper, red chili pepper, red pepper flakes, cumin and black pepper) were evaluated for Total Aerobic Mesophilic Bacteria (TMAB), Staphylococcus/Micrococcus, Coagulase (+) Staphylococcus, Yeast/Mold, Enterobacteriaceae, Coliform Bacteria, E. coli, Enterococcus spp., B. cereus, Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes. The means of total aerobic mesophilic bacteria (TMAB), Staphylococcus/Micrococcus, Coagulase (+) Staphylococcus, Yeast/Mold, Enterobacteriaceae, Coliform Bacteria, E. coli, Enterococcus spp. and B. cereus, counts were detected 5.50, 2.03, <log 2.00, 3.98, 3.57, 3.07, <log 2.00, 3.32 and 2.79 log CFU g−1, respectively. Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes were detected 2.8 and 1.2%. We also determined the antimicrobial resistance of detected Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes. Salmonella spp. was resistant to Gentamicin/Ampicillin/Streptomycin, Nalidixic Acid and Tetracycline, while L. monocytogenes was resistant to Gentamicin/Amoxicillin and Ampicillin/Tetracycline/Penicillin. Based on these results, we recommend that spices be packaged with suitable packaging material, preserved in adequate conditions and that all HACCP regulations be strictly obeyed at every stage from production to consumption.