The present study was concentrated to screen some members in Enterobacteriaceae family from chilled meat products procured from different retail shops in Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu. A total of six varieties of ready to cook chilled food products with fiveamples in each were randomly purchased from departmental stores, retailer meat shops and local vendors of Tiruchirappalli. Out of 30 ready to cook, chilled food products screened for the presence of Enterobacteriaceae, 28 found to be positive for Enterobacteriaceae. A total of 36 bacterial strains were selected at random and identified. Only 11 isolates were finally confirmed as Enterobacteriaceae and this was shared by Escherichia coli (E. coli), Citrobacter spp., Salmonella spp., Serratia spp. and Proteus spp. Among these Proteus spp. (23.3%) was found predominant in all the samples. Antibiogram study revealed that 54.5% isolates were susceptible to each of Ofloxacin and Ciprofloxacin followed by Ampicillin (45.5%), Chloramphenicol (27.3%) and Gentamycin (18.2%). A high percentage of 54.5% isolates were found to be multidrug resistance (resistant to 3 or more antibiotics). E. coli and Proteus spp. isolated from mixed vegetables and beef respectively, were 00% resistant to Penicillin, Ciprofloxacin, Chloramphenicol, Ofloxacin, Ampicillin and Gentamycin. The study revealed poor sanitation and cross-contamination in food processing area which resulted in the enhancement of enteropathogenic bacteria which are, known to cause foodborne illnesses. Also, the multidrug resistance noticed in the present study may be linked to the use of antibiotics in cattle rearing which constitute a serious threat to public health.
Ready to cook, Enterobacteriaceae, Antibiogram, Sanitation, Foodborne illness, Cross-contamination
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