Microbial and heavy metal contamination monitoring of ready-to-eat food, Piyawan Gasaluck, Lumprai Srithamma and Chaiwat Kongmanklang
Purpose: Microbiological and chemical risk assessment in food and drinks are important. This research were attempted to survey the quality of food and drinks from various locations in 2 seasons of the year (winter and summer).
Methodology: Samples of raw food, cooked-food, ready to eat food, drinkingwater and freshly-made fruit juice from 8 locations in Nakhonratchasima province, Thailand, were collected to analyze for microbial indices and heavy metals contamination.
Findings: Results were compared between 2 seasons of the year. For the food, microbial indices were found higher than standard level in all types of food in both seasons of the year, though slightly different from location to location. For the food-borne pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp. and Vibrio cholera were detected higher in summer than in winter, also varying in different locations. Results of Pb, Hg, As and Cd analyses shows Pb extremely higher than standard level in all types of food collected in winter. Hg was also detected higher in only raw and cooked-foods collected in winter. For the drinks, no heavy metals were found in any drinking water. In contrary, Pb, Hg and As were detected less than standard level in summer in freshly-made fruit juice.
Value: The food-borne pathogens found evidential risk on food safety as is confronted in public. Good hygiene practice and good manufacturing practice should be realized by the relevant control units to monitor public sanitation on foods and drinks regularly.
Keywords: Ready-To-Eat Food, Food Safety, Pathogens and Heavy Metals in Food