Isolation and characterisation of Listeria species from ready-to-eat raw pork sausages processed in Mauritius
Keywords:Ready-to-eat meat, pork sausages, Listeria monocytogenes, antimicrobial susceptibility
The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbial safety, in particular, the presence and prevalence of Listeria species in ready-to-eat pork raw sausages sold in three main markets in Mauritius. Analyses were carried out over a period of six months (July - December 2013). A total of 90 samples were analyzed through standard methods for the isolation, phenotypic and molecular characterization.Â The antimicrobial susceptibility of identified Listeria isolates was also assessed. Statistical analyses showed that the prevalence of Listeria spp. was significantly higher (p< 0.05) in sausages stored at room temperature. 61.0% of samples were found contaminated with Listeria species, 23.1 % with L.monocytogenes and L.innocua, 7.7% with L.grayi and 7.1 % with other Listeria species. No contamination with L.ivanovii was noted..The susceptibility test showed that isolated L.monocytogenes, L.innocua, and L.grayi were susceptible to all five antibiotics tested. Highest susceptibility was observed against erythromycin and lowest to ciprofloxacin. Findings also suggested that the level of hygiene concerning the processing, storage and handling of raw pork sausages is relatively poor and there is potential risk of foodborne diseases. This study contributed to the prevalence and contamination levels of Listeria species in RTE raw pork sausages in Mauritius for the first time, providing information for authorities to improve the microbiological safety of RTE foods.
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