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International Research Journal of Microbiology

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Hygienic Assessment of Pathogenic Contamination in Raw Vegetables in Local Markets: an Implication for Public Health

Abstract

Ali Saad R. Alsubaie, Abdulsalam M.K. AL-Mekhlafi, Latifa A.N. AL-Shibani, Samara M.A. AL-Eryani**, Ahmed A.A. Azazy

This cross-sectional study aimed to assess the hygienic status of commonly used raw vegetables through the identification of their possible contamination with parasites as well as to the hygienic capability of using tap water in washing raw vegetables. Overall, 240 vegetable samples were randomly collected from local market. Four common types of raw vegetable (60 for each type), 120 of them were washed with tap water while the other half were washed with normal saline, with the aim of comparing their efficiency for parasite extraction from raw vegetables. Among samples washed with tap water, 28 (23.3%) were contaminated, while different type of parasites were detected in 30 (25%) of the samples washed with normal saline solution. With the exception of radish, all other three types of vegetables were contaminated with ova of Ascaris lumbricoides and Hymenolepis nana, while Trichuris trichiura was isolated only from green onions. Cysts of Entameba histolytica and Giardia intestinalis were extracted from radish while Giardia intestinalis was detected only in leeks. Tap water showed similar efficiency as normal saline in extraction of pathogenic parasites. These findings have important implications for food safety. Raw vegetables may threaten public health by transmitting intestinal parasites to humans. Further studies are recommended for a better understanding of the occurrence of possible infectious pathogens in raw food, and the status of hygienic knowledge, attitudes and practices among vegetables producers

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