Comparative analysis of hygienic quality of cottage cheese from Sarajevo and Zagreb markets during summer and winter seasons

Viktor Landeka, Mufida Aljičević, Ana Sesar, Adem Ćemerlić, Lidija Kozacinski

Abstract


Objectives: Traditional, homemade fresh cheese is available for sale in local city markets throughout the Balkan region. Aim of the study was to examine the hygienic properties of the aforementioned fresh cheese, which is sold in numerous city markets of two European capital cities during the two seasons.


Materials and methods: This research project analysed 60 samples of cheese, taken from markets in Sarajevo and Zagreb, during the summer and winter seasons of 2015 and 2016. All cheese samples were microbiologically processed using ISO methods, and the results were interpreted according to the microbiological criteria for food.
Results: In all the collected samples of cheese in both cities, it was established that there was no presence of Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes. Due to the specific presence of bacterium Escherichia coli in eight samples of cheese (n=30) in the market places in Zagreb (26.6%), and coagulase-positive staphylococci (Staphylococcus aureus) in two samples of cheese (n=30) sampled from the market in Sarajevo (6,6%), out of all of the samples of cheese (n=60), ten samples, or 16,66% were hygienically incorrect. The total number of hygienically improper samples of cheese, because of the findings of S. aureus in numbers greater than the maximum permitted in relation to the time of year, was higher in winter than in summer.
Conclusion: There is a need to improve hygienic conditions in the entire cheese manufacturing process. People who consume fresh cheese on a daily basis are exposed to a potential risk of developing food-borne infections and intoxications, due to the microbiologically poor quality of cheese. Competent authorities should carry out supervision, and control production, while manufacturers themselves should implement a system of self-control that is subject to inspection and regulation.
Keywords: fresh cow cheese, ISO methods, microbiological criteria, E. coli, S. aureus


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