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|Title||Bacteriological Quality of Fresh Vegetables Salad in Schools Canteens and Restaurants in Gaza strip|
Background: Vegetables salad are main dish of daily meals for many Palestinian people served in homes, schools and restaurants. However, vegetables salad was associated with the outbreaks in many countries around the world, many health problems can arise from consumption of contaminated prepared salads if hygiene practices breakdown. Many studies in different countries determine the microbiological quality of vegetables salad, but in Gaza strip, there was no published data on this subject. Objectives: This research aimed to investigate the bacteriological quality of fresh vegetables salad sold in the local school canteens and restaurants inGaza strip. Methodology: Samples examined in the present investigation included different types of fresh vegetables salad. A total of 200 random samples were collected from UNRWA and Palestinian authority school canteens (100 samples) and different restaurants (100 samples) in Mid Zone, Khan Younis and Rafah governorates. All microbiological examinations were carried out at the Public Health Laboratory for Food and Water, Gaza-Palestine. Chi square test was used to detect significant difference or correlation among variables. Results: In this study it was found that 88% of vegetables salad samples failed to comply with standards, the percentage distributed as follows; 79.5% (159/200) with Total Plate Count, 60.5% (121) with Total Coliform bacteria, 53.5% (107) with E. coli, 21.5% (43) with S. aureus, 14% (28) B. cereus, 7.5% (15) Listeria spp., 2% (4) L. monocytogenes, 5% (10) Salmonella spp., 1% (2) Shigella spp., and 1% (2) E. coli O157:H7. In this study the mixed vegetables salad samples showed the highest non-compliant. Moreover, other isolated bacteria included; Cronobacter sakazakii (formerly known as Enterobacter sakazakii) (12.5%; 25), Pasturella spp. (3%; 6) and Aeromonas hydrophila (0.5%; 1). The results revealed that there was statistically significant correlation between the compliance and non compliance in different governorates (P= 0.025). There is also statistically significant correlation between compliance of school canteens samples and governorates (P= 0.001). Moreover there is statistically significant correlation between salad type and source of samples (P= 0.001) and Total Plate Count (P= 0.001) and Shigella (P=0.021). Conclusions: The results of this study revealed high bacterial load and presence of pathogenic bacteria especially E. coli, E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., and Shigella spp., and S. aureus in the salad vegetable samples. This emphasizes the need to promote awareness about the possible health hazards that could result from poor handling of these vegetables.
|Publisher||الجامعة الإسلامية - غزة|
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