[Indicators of contamination and their relation to the presence of Escherichia coli in ready-to-eat foods].
The relationship between indicator microorganism counts and the presence of Escherichia coli was determined in ready-to-eat food in food stores. Aerobic counts (CA), total coliforms (CT) and molds and yeast (ML) were registered in each food sample as well as the presence of E. coli in food, surface and hand samples. There was a high percentage of E. coli in cooked food (46% in 1 g), in raw food (31% in 0.1 g), in surfaces (37%) and in hands (21%). Significant correlations were found in CT, CA and ML in cooked food (P = 0.0001); no significant correlations were found in raw food (P > 0.01). The CT count in cooked food with E. coli was significantly higher than CT count in cooked food without E. coli (median 5.00 cfu/g and 1.54 cfu/g, respectively). Meanwhile, no significant differences were found in raw food.
Cátedra de Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Av. Vélez Sarsfield 299, C.C. 395, 5000 Córdoba, Argentina.,
Pub Type(s)English Abstract