The desire for a healthy lifestyle and faster mode of preparation has supported the consumption of ready to eat fresh salad. Street vended salads are recognized as a source of pathogenic transamination in different parts of the world. The present study was designed to evaluate the safety status of fresh vegetable and Russian salads being sold at various food outlets of Faisalabad. Samples of freshly prepared salads were collected from representative selected different areas of Faisalabad city divided into four different zones (zone 1, zone 2, zone 3 and zone 4). Prevalence and enumeration of Listeria was done through microbial testing via the spread plate method. Among samples of vegetable salad, the highest prevalence of Listeria was found in the zone 2 (75%) whereas Russian salad samples from zones 1 and 3 exhibited 62% prevalence, the highest among all 4 zones of study. On the whole, the lowest prevalence of Listeria was found in zone 4 (50% vegetable salad and 58% Russian salad). Biochemical conformation of Listeria done through different tests for the identification of various Listeria species, exhibited that Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria innocua were highly prevalent in samples from zones 1 and 3 respectively. The results will help to improve safety concerns associated with street vended foods.
Listeria, ready-to-eat, vended salads
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