Authors: Evelyne Toe, Adjéhi Dadié, Etienne Dako, Guillaume Loukou
The aim of this study was to determine the bacteriological quality of raw mixed vegetable salads served in collective catering in Abidjan and to assess the factors likely to favor contamination. An investigation was conducted to determine the practical risk of contamination. A total of 306 samples were collected and analyzed for the detection and enumeration of Enterobacteriaceae, E. coli and Salmonella according to standard microbiology methods. The most important risk factors were lack of training (96.7%), decontamination (84.0%), cross-contamination of vegetables in contact with fresh chicken or fish (76.7%) and salads that were uncovered and unprotected, thus exposed to the air and at ambient temperature for sale (97.7%). Theprevalence was 100%, 77.8% and 2.6% respectively for Enterobacteriaceae, E. coli and Salmonella. The average load of Enterobacteriaceae and E. coli was 4.93 log10 (CFU/g) and 1.89 log10 (CFU/g), respectively. Unsatisfactory microbiological quality samples were 52.3%. The results showed a failure of the sanitary quality in more than half of the products. Raising awareness in all of the workers in the food chain for vegetable salads is thus necessary to protect the health of the consumers.
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