Enumeration of Microorganisms and Detection of Some Pathogens in Commonly Used Spices Sold Openly from Retail Stores in Kars
A total of 75 spice samples from retail stores in Kars were analysed for the presence of microorganisms. Aerobic mesophilic counts of red pepper (14.3%) and cinnamon samples (14.3%) exceeded the Turkish Food Codex. The samples included high levels of enterobacteriaceae and coliforms. Red pepper (n=3), black pepper(n=3), cinnamon (n=2), cumin (n=2) and allspice (n=3), samples contained E. coli, but not E. coli O157:H7 nor Salmonella spp. Most samples contained staphylococci and micrococci but not S. aureus. Counts of Enterococci and lactobacilli were detected at low levels. Pseudomonads and Aeromonads were not detected in all samples. All samples included aerobic and anaerobic spore forming bacteria, yeast and moulds.
Key Words: Red pepper, Black pepper, Cumin, Cinnamon, Allspice, Microbiological quality.