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Int J Food Microbiol. 2002 Aug 25;77(3):199-204.

Bacteriological analysis of fresh produce in Norway.

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  • 1Section for Food and Feed Microbiology, National Veterinary Institute, Oslo, Norway.


A total of 890 samples of fresh produce obtained from Norwegian markets were examined in order to assess the bacteriological quality of the products and their potential public health risk. The samples comprised lettuce, pre-cut salads, growing herbs, parsley and dill, mushrooms and strawberries. The samples were analysed for the presence of thermotolerant coliform bacteria (TCB), Escherichia coli O157, Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus spp., and Yersinia enterocolitica. Neither Salmonella spp. nor E. coli O157 were isolated. For all product groups included, TCB were isolated from a small proportion of samples. Three samples harboured L. monocytogenes; one of the isolates belonging to serogroup 1 (champignons) and two of the isolates belonging to serogroup 4 (Chinese leaves and strawberries). Staphylococci were isolated from a relatively large proportion of the samples of strawberries and mushrooms. However, only four isolates were identified as S. aureus (non-toxinogenic). By the use of PCR, the presence of Y. enterocolitica was indicated in a few of the samples of lettuce, whilst no positive samples were found using a culturing method. The study shows that the occurrence of pathogenic bacteria and TCB in the products analysed was quite low. Nevertheless, the results indicate that the type of products analysed may contain pathogenic bacteria and thereby represent a risk to the consumers in regard to food-borne diseases.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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