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American Journal of Food Technology
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 6  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 129 - 139

Microbiological Quality of Raw Vegetables Grown in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

M.A. Halablab, I.H. Sheet and H.M. Holail    

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the microbiological quality of fresh vegetables collected from several regions in Bekaa Valley areas. A total of 63 vegetable samples irrigated from Litani River in Bekaa Valley in Lebanon namely lettuce, parsley and Malva samples and other control vegetables samples irrigated from ground water wells were examined to assess microbial contamination level. The microbiological quality of fresh vegetables ranged from 4.3 to 10.4 log10 CFU g-1 (aerobic bacteria); 2.0 to 0.71 log10 CFU g-1 (coliforns); 1.0 to 8.77 log10 CFU g-1 (E. coli) and 1.47 to 8.77 log10 CFU g-1 (S. aureus). Lettuce samples had significantly higher microbial loads including coliforms, E. coli and S. aureus than parsley samples collected from different locations in Bekaa Valley. Neither E. coli nor S. aureus had been detected on Malva samples. In addition, Barelias had higher microbial loads, coliform, E. coli and S. aureus than any other location investigated in Bekaa Valley. Moreover, E. coli was significantly higher in lettuce samples (42.30%) than in parsley samples (13.8%) and S. aureus was significantly more often detected in lettuce samples (51.5%) than in parsley samples (38%). This study demonstrated that lettuce and parsley which are usually consumed raw may contain pathogenic microorganisms and represent a risk for human health.

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