ASSESSMENT OF MICROBIOLOGICAL QUALITY OF SOME RAW SALAD VEGETABLES FROM LOCAL MARKETNANDKUMAR GHADGE AND ANU KAMAT
A total of 62 samples of fresh vegetables including tomato (20), carrot (23) and cucumber (19) which are generally consumed in raw form as salads in India were purchased from five local markets in Mumbai. These samples were examined for overall microbial quality in terms of bacterial, mold, enterobacterial and coliform levels and incidence of pathogens such as Listeria and Yersinia. Standard procedures and media were used for isolation and identification studies. Amon the three vegetables, tomato was found to be microbiologically safe with low beacterial (102-105 clu/gm) and coliform (102 cfu/gm) and 100% frr of enterobacteria. Cucumber and Peeled carrot exhibited comparatively higher total bacterial count (104-105 cfu/gm) and enterobacteria (103-104 cfu/gm). Samples of carrot and cumcumber were found to be associated with Listeria and Yersinia, whereas Listeria was identified in tomato samples from 3 out of 7 localities. However, non-pathogenic specis like Y. intermedia and Linnocua were predominating specis in most of the samples. Nevertheless, the presence of L. ntonocytogenes was observed in all samples of carrot obtained from two localities. Faecal coliform was not found in tomato whereas on an average conforms load was low in carrot and cumcumber samples.
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