EVALUATION OF BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION OF POWDERED FOOD PRODUCTS, PAKISTAN

S. A. TUNIO, S. BANO, A. N. JATT, S. MAL, M. NAEEM, A. NAEEM, S. HASHMI, A. RAHIM

Abstract


Food contamination is a serious issue because infectious diseases may spread through food or beverages. Infants and babies are more susceptible to infection by pathogens because of their less well-developed immune system and lack of competing organisms in the gut flora. The aim of this research study was to investigate microbiological safety of a range of powdered food products that are consumed by either infants or adults, who may be immune-compromised. In order to achieve the goal, 21 powdered food products including infant formula milks and powdered protein-based shakes were purchased from retail stores and analyzed for bacterial contamination. Seven out of 21 products were contaminated with different combinations of 9 bacterial isolates belonging to three different types. Isolation and identification was carried out using conventional methods including, culturing, microscopic analysis and biochemical testing. Three bacterial species including two Gram-positive (Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus) and one Gram-negative (Enterobacter sakazakii) were isolated from seven locally made food products. B. cereus was found predominantly in five products. Furthermore, antibiotic susceptibility was determined using various commercially available antibiotic disks.

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