Vietnam Research – Microbiological safety of ready-to-eat foods in hospital and university canteens in Hanoi, Vietnam

Journal of Food Protection

The aim of this study is to analyze and document the microbiological safety and quality of ready-to-eat foods in hospital and university canteens in Hanoi, Vietnam. A total of 420 ready-to-eat food products from 21 canteens were sampled in July 2018 and May 2019. The ratio of samples exceeding the unsatisfactory level for Total Plate Count (TPC) was 31%. Escherichia coli, Listeria and Staphylococcus aureus were detected in 35 (8.3%), 99 (24%), 46 (11%) samples, with 3%, 10% and 0% exceeding the unsatisfactory level, respectively. The Total Plate Count (TPC), Listeria, Bacillus cereus, E. coli, S. aureus ranged from below detection limit to 5×10 9 , 4.6×10 5 , 6.2×10 3 , 3.4×10 3 , 7.6×10 3 CFU/g, respectively. Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from 3/420 samples (0.7%). In addition, there were 21 out of 410 samples (5%) contaminated with Salmonella. Overall, our data indicate frequent problems with the microbiological quality and safety of these canteen foods in Hanoi, and provide a baseline measurement that will allow environmental health officers and food microbiologists to develop targeted intervention strategies to reduce the economical and public health risk associated with these foods.

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