This study aimed to evaluate the presence of coliforms in 50 samples (25 ready-to-eat vegetable salads and 25 handlers’ hands) collected randomly from restaurants in Baghdad. The total coliform count in the samples of vegetable salads from Al-Sadria and Hay al-Amel reached 4.78 and 4.32 log cfu/g, respectively, whereas those in the swab samples of handlers’ hands from the same areas reached 3.70 and 3.90 log cfu/g, respectively. The percentages of fecal coliform bacteria in the salad samples from Al-Sadria and Hay al-Amel were 35% and 32%, respectively, whereas those in the hand swabs from the same areas were 41% and 36%, respectively. Two isolates of the serotype Escherichia coli O157:H7 were detected in the study samples from the same areas, where the rates of E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria increased. Considering the virulence of this bacterial serotype and its direct impact on consumer safety, we highly recommend implementing quality programs in ready-to-eat vegetable salad production chains, raising the cultural level and health awareness of restaurant owners and workers preparing these salads, and raising public awareness of the potential health risks of consuming contaminated food products.
Vegetable Salads, Workers’ Hands, Fecal Coliform Bacteria, Baghdad Restaurants
Share This Article
© The Author(s) 2023. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License which permits unrestricted use, sharing, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.