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Abstract

Most of the research related to food-borne human pathogens is conducted on the transmission of pathogens from foods of animal origin. However, recent studies showed that fruits and vegetables are the sources of many disease outbreaks. This study was carried out to assess the current knowledge and future developments for the microbial safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The eight different fruits and vegetables, Grape (Vitis vinifera), Banana (Musa acuminate), Orange (Citrus sinensis), Apple (Malus domestica Borkh), Carrott (Daucus carota), Cucumber (Cucumis sativus), Green chili (Capsicum annuum), Onion (Allium fistulosum), were bought from two localities. To determine the frequency of microorganisms, the standard plate count was performed. The effect of varying concentration of acetic acid on the microbial load of vegetables was evaluated at different time intervals. The results showed that the highest mean microbial load 2× ± 0.01 cfu/ml was isolated from vendor A. From the vendor B the highest load was 8× ± 0.03 cfu/ml. Seven genera were identified i. e E.coli, Pseudomonas spp. Salmonella, Shigella, Klebsiella spp. Enterobacter spp., Bacillus spp. The frequency of occurrence of the E.coli was the highest i.e. 23.3%. The frequencies of occurrence of other isolates were as; Pseudomonas spp. (16.6%), Enterobacter spp. (16.6%), Salmonella (16%), Shigella (13.3%), Klebsiella spp. (10%), Bacillus spp. (3.3%). This study showed that increasing vinegar concentration from 0.5 to 2.5%, resulted in reduced microbial loads. The risk of foodborne illness associated with consumption of fresh produce can be minimized by controlling the potential contamination.


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