Hygienic Conditions and Microbial Contamination in Six Ewe's-Milk-Processing Plants in Sardinia, Italy
Abstract:In Sardinia, ewe's milk is almost exclusively used for cheese manufacture, and it is usually processed in small dairies which do not have sufficient technical and scientific knowledge for large-scale controlled production. This study was carried out to identify the sources of contamination and the kinds of contaminating microorganisms present in six ewe's milk processing plants in Sardinia. Samples were collected during production hours three times over a period of 6 months. Raw milk, heat-treated milk, curd, 30-day-old cheese, lactic culture, rennet, and water used in processing lines were analyzed and the microbial contamination of air and surfaces was evaluated. Total mesophilic aerobic counts, coliforms, Escherichia coli, gram-negative psychrotrophs, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp., Listeria spp., yeasts, and molds were determined. Our survey confirmed that the production off ood of high microbiological quality is strictly dependent on the microbiological quality of the raw material, optimization of the parameters for the heat treatment, water of potable quality, well-defined cleaning and disinfection procedures, and properly hygienic processing conditions. In fact, only plants characterized by raw milk and rennet of acceptable quality, generally clean work surfaces, and low microbial counts in the air of working areas made finished products of high microbiological quality. Standardization of technological parameters and achievement of properly hygienic processing conditions will help minimize the risk of developing food-safety problems, in compliance with public health regulatory requirements. These actions would help guarantee an adequate quality of Sardinian ewe's milk cheeses and might also lead to access to the international market.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Experimental Biology, Chair of Hygiene, University of Cagliari, Via Palabanda 12, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
Publication date: March 1, 1997
More about this publication?
- IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website). The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.
Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at www.foodprotection.org.
- Information for Authors
- Submit a Paper
- Subscribe to this Title
- Membership Information
- Information for Advertisers
- ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites