Med. Weter. 69 (1), 36-39, 2013

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Elmali M., Öner S., Yaman H.
Detection of Listeria monocytogenes by using PCR method in refrigerated ready-to-eat food consumed in Turkey
This study aimed to detect the prevalence, risk and importance of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE), traditional food products, using PCR in the Antakya/Hatay district in the southeast of Turkey, which is a popular tourist destination. L. monocytogenes was isolated and identified from 2.09% of the 239 RTE food samples tested. L. monocytogenes was found in 3 (2.58%) of 116 salad samples, and 2 (6.66%) of 30 abagannus samples. However, no L. monocytogenes contamination was detected in the samples of broad bean paste, hummus (crushed chickpeas), parsley salads, traditional salted yoghurt, thyme salads, and walnuts with red pepper. In conclusion, our study showed a relatively high risk of L. monocytogenes in some traditional RTE foods in the Antakya/Hatay district of Turkey. The observed L. monocytogenes contamination may have been caused by a high microbial load of the ingredients, cross-contamination, poor production and processing conditions, incorrect handling, or watering vegetables with polluted water.
Key words: Listeria monocytogenes, ready-to-eat food, PCR, hygienic quality