Survey of microbial quality of plant-based foods served in restaurants

Author: Sospedra, I.; Rubert, J.; Soriano, J.M.; MaƱes, J.

Description: This study was carried out to evaluate the microbiological quality of plant-based foods obtained from foodservice establishments. The samples included cereals, legumes, fruits and vegetables. According to the European Commission Regulation (No. 2073/2005 and No. 1441/2007) and Spanish microbiological criteria (No. 3484/2000), vegetables were the plant-based dishes where more samples exceed the adopted limits of mesophilic aerobic counts and Enterobacteriaceae. Furthermore, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli were also found in several vegetable dishes. E. coli and Salmonella spp. were detected in 6.6% and 0.7% of lettuce samples, respectively. However, all the samples were negative for Listeria monocytogenes. Salad ingredients are eaten as fresh vegetables without cooking processes and lettuce was one of the most contaminated samples. As ready-to-eat salads which have been previously cleaned, this means that contamination might be caused by incorrect cleaning practices or inadequate hygienic handling. These results emphasize the necessity to apply and to maintain good hygienic practices in the restaurants.

Subject headings: Plant-based food; Cereals; Legumes; Fruits; Vegetables; Microbiological quality; Food contamination

Publication year: 2013

Journal or book title: Food Control

Volume: 30

Issue: 2

Pages: 418-422

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 1674