Bacterial Contamination in the Environment of Food Factories Processing Ready-to-Eat Fresh Vegetables

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A total of 196 samples were collected from equipment for trimming, washing, slicing, soaking, dehydrating, blending, and packaging and from the floor and air of operation rooms before and after operation in two food factories processing ready-to-eat fresh vegetables located in the suburbs of Tokyo. Heavy contamination determined by an aerobic plate count of >5.0 log CFU/cm2 or ml was observed after operation in most of the samples examined, as were samples taken before operation on the interior surfaces of equipment for washing, slicing, dehydrating, and blending, the surfaces of blades for slicing, and the floor surfaces of operation rooms. From these environmental samples, the coliform group was detected before operation. Although 67 strains of 70 coliforms isolated were nonfecal, three Escherichia coli strains were detected in the surface of the operation room floors and the gloves of employees. Bacillus cereus was isolated from 9 of 86 and 17 of 85 samples examined before and after operation with the number of 2.0 to 3.0 log CFU/cm2 or ml. Listeria spp. were not detected in the environment of the food factories.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Saiwaicho 3-5-8, Fuchu-shi, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan

Publication date: July 1, 1999

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