Microbiological Quality of Raw Vegetables and Ready to Eat Products Sold in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) Markets

Vegetables are usually consumed raw. This implied best hygienic conditions from the harvest to the processing because of the gastro-enteritis that they could provoke. This study was conducted with the aim to appreciate microbiological quality of raw tomatoes, endives and ready-to-eat products sold in markets. Samples were taken randomly in two markets of Abidjan. A microbiological analysis was done in order to identify and enumerate fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas. A decontamination treatment based on washing samples with running water and sodium hypochlorite solution I° chlorymetric was also applied to tomatoes and endives. The results indicated that, for tomatoes and endives, the average load was 1.5.104 CFU/g of Enterococcus, 1.3.103 CFU/g of Pseudomonas and 1.7.102 CFU/g of fecal coliforms. In ready-to-eat products, the load was 9.3.101 CFU/g for Enterococcus, l.03.101 CFU/g for Pseudomonas and 9.9.101 CFU/g for fecal coliforms. The disinfection with a sodium hypochlorite solution l° chlorymetric reduced Enterococcus and fecal coliforms load to 98% and Pseudomonas load to 97% as compared to the washing with running water in which Enterococcus was only reduced to 80%, fecal coliforms to78% and Pseudomonas to 73%. Escherichia coli were isolated in 28 samples as follow: 15 stumps from endives (54%), 10 stumps from tomatoes (36%) and 3 stumps from ready-to-eat products (10%). Results showed that before consumption, vegetables need to be washed, cleaned and disinfected. This will avoid sanitary hazard.

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