African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development

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Isolation and identification of pathogenic bacteria from ready-to -eat fast foods in Al-Quwayiyah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Samir A. Alharbi, Mamdouh H. Abdel-Ghaffar, Nivas R. Kadher


Food-borne pathogens are becoming a globally formidable health problem and perceived as a major health concern in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Contamination ensued through unclean raw food materials and particles, use of polluted water, unhygienic preparation processes and use of contaminated containers. Herein, the prevalence of food-borne pathogens in ready-to-eat (RTE) fast foods from fifteen different food eateries such as 7 restaurants, 6 cafeterias and 2 two college canteens in Al-Quwayiyah, Riyadh Region of Saudi Arabia was studied. Microbiological analysis of 155 fast food samples which included, Vegetable salad, Falafel, Kibtha and Shawarma. The isolates were detected using biochemical tests and API 20E and slide agglutination test were conducted for Salmonella spp. detection. Bacterial growth was found in all food samples tested. Moreover, the test also showed high levels of total aerobic count: vegetable salad 6.34+0.03, falafel 5.79 + 0.18, kibtha 5.06 +0.02 and shawarma 3.54 + 0.13. Organisms isolated include Salmonella spp. (15%), Escherichia coli (18%) and Staphylococcus aureus (7%). Salmonella is one of the most virulent pathogen implicated in food-borne disease outbreaks. There are numerous transmission routes for Salmonellosis, but the majority of the human infections are derived from consumption of contaminated poultry products. Consistently, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella Heidelberg are the three most frequent serotypes recovered from humans each year. Serologically identified Salmonella serotypes from RTE fast food samples were Salmonella Typhimurium with 65%, the most predominant one compared to Salmonella Enteritidis that was 35%. The bacterial count of vegetable salad, falahfel, kibtha was statistically significant when compared with Shawarma (p < 0.05). This result indicated that most of the ready-to-eat food samples examined in the study did not meet any bacteriological quality standard as recommended by The New South Wales (NSW) Food Authority to be <5.0 log10 CFU g−1 and, therefore, it poses potential risks to consumers. Ready- to- eat fast foods must be cooked and served to the consumers with all hygienic measures.

Keywords: foodborne pathogen, microbial quality, Ready- to- eat fast foods, Al-Quwayiyah

Afr. J. Food Agric. Nutr. Dev. 2019; 19(3): 14739-14751

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