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Assessing the microbiological safety status of most commonly consumed food items sold at local and branded restaurants of Faisalabad, Pakistan
- Arshad, Fariha, Zahoor, Tahir
- Journal of food safety 2019 v.39 no.1 pp. e12587
- Bacillus cereus, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, chicken meat, cooked foods, food handling, food safety, food supply chain, hospitality industry, microbial contamination, microbiological quality, restaurants, rice, Pakistan
- The current study was designed to assess the microbial safety status of rice and chicken dishes offered for sale at various local and branded restaurants. Purposely, 24 samples of rice and chicken dishes were collected from eight local and branded restaurants of Faisalabad city. All the collected samples were subjected to microbiological examination to determine the prevalence and comparative enumeration of Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli (rice), Salmonella and Campylobacter (chicken). Results pertaining to the enumeration of B. cereus and E. coli exhibited highest count of 2.12 × 10⁸ and 2.59 × 10⁷ cfu/g, respectively. Both strains were found to be higher among the samples collected from branded restaurants. Likewise for chicken dishes, the highest count observed for Salmonella and Campylobacter were 2.50 × 10⁷ and 1.87 × 10⁸ cfu/g, respectively. Further, the results of current study revealed that 38% of rice samples collected from local restaurants and 63% from branded restaurants have unsatisfactory safety status for B. cereus. Similarly, for E. coli, 63 and 42% samples were found unsatisfactory from local and branded restaurants, respectively. On the other hand, the percentage of chicken samples with unacceptable safety status according to Salmonella and Campylobacter standards were 46 & 58% and 54 & 46% for local and branded restaurants, respectively. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Safe handling of food during preparation and adherence to the food safety principles are key factors in determining the safety of food served at any restaurant. The study focused on previously unreported microbial safety status of some commonly sold food items at local and branded restaurants. The results and suggestions of this study will help the food handlers and regulatory bodies to map out the potential gaps in food supply chain to reduce the incidence of microbial contamination in cooked food items. The study will provide guidance for the restaurant industry to improve the overall safety of cooked foods by taking the corrective measures in the light of results presented in this article.