Marie Sandy Tang Sik Fon, Dayawatee Goburdhun, Hudaa Neetoo
Noodles are a popular staple food and are consumed by all ethnic groups in Mauritius due to its convenience and palatability. The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbiological safety and quality of fresh noodles sold in markets and supermarkets of Mauritius. Fresh noodles were collected from 2 markets and 2 supermarkets located either in the Capital City or a commercial town of Mauritius. Samples were microbiologically assayed for Total Plate Count (TPC), presumptive Escherichia coli (EC), presumptive Staphylococcus aureus (SA), Yeast and mold count (YMC), Lactic acid bacteria, Pseudomonas spp., Bacillus cereus (BC) and Salmonella using official methods of analysis. Noodles purchased from all retail outlets were found to be unacceptable for sale as the level of TPC and SA exceeded the limits imposed by microbiological standards.There was also no significant difference (P > 0.05) in the microbial load of noodles between the different retail outlet types. The relatively high levels of spoilage microorganisms Pseudomonas spp. and Lactic Acid Bacteria suggest that the fresh noodles are highly perishable and have a very short shelf-life.
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