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Microbial food safety assessment of dried edible mushrooms

Ana Hazirah Ajis, Lin June Chong, Yee Shin Tan, Lay Ching Chai
Journal für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit 2017 v.12 no.3 pp. 265-269
Acinetobacter, Auricularia polytricha, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Lentinula edodes, Pantoea, Tremella fuciformis, coliform bacteria, cooking, food pathogens, food safety, foodborne illness, foods, markets, mushrooms, public health, risk, safety assessment, soaking, Asia
The microbial safety of dried mushrooms, a commonly consumed food in Asia, is usually neglected. Many studies have highlighted low moisture foods as potential sources of foodborne pathogens. In this study, a total of 72 retailed dried edible mushrooms (Lentinula edodes, Tremella fuciformis, Auricularia polytricha, and Auricularia auricula-judae) from local markets were analysed. Auricularia polytricha was found to harbour the highest count of mesophilic bacteria (4.67 log CFU/g) and coliforms (3.15 log CFU/g), with potentially foodborne pathogens such as Acinetobacter spp., Escherichia spp., Klebsiella spp. and Pantoea spp. The common preparation practiced by the locals by soaking the dried mushrooms in water prior to cooking was found to increase the counts of total bacteria and coliforms; suggesting an increased risk of foodborne infection. Therefore, the findings from this study highlight the potential public health risk of dried mushrooms that has been long neglected.