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Health hazard from exposure to histamine produced in ready-to-eat shawarma widely consumed in Egypt

Khalid Ibrahim Sallam, Samar Elaraby Mohammed Morgan, Mohamed Zakaria Sayed-Ahmed, Saad Saeed Alqahtani, Samir Mohammed Abd-Elghany
Journal of food composition and analysis 2021 v.97 pp. 103794
beef, chickens, food composition, health effects assessments, health hazards, high performance liquid chromatography, histamine, hygiene, ready-to-eat foods, risk, stress response, thermal stability, Egypt
The purpose of this study was to determine histamine content in ready-to-eat shawarma samples (120 samples; 60 each of beef and chicken shawarma) purchased from different fast-food restaurants having different hygienic levels distributed in Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt, along with the assessment of the health risks associated with the consumption of these products containing histamine. High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) detected histamine in 60 % and 70 % of beef shawarma and chicken shawarma tested with mean levels of 8.02 ± 1.14 and 10.33 ± 1.36 mg/100 g, respectively, which exceeded the international acceptable limits. The results of health risk assessment based on calculated EDIs of histamine with comparison to their maximum tolerable safety level (NOAEL or LOAEL) indicating that the consumption of ready-to-eat beef or chicken shawarma processed and served in Egypt may carry a potential health risk for either sensitive individuals (suffering from histamine intolerance) or high shawarma consumers who consume more than one shawarma meal per day. Since histamine is thermostable and can’t be eliminated from foods by cooking, stringent control actions should be followed to avoid histamine formation in ready-to-eat shawarma to ensure their safety.