RESEARCH NOTE MICROBIOLOGICAL QUALITY ASSESSMENT OF DELI MEATS SOLD IN SINGAPORE
Andrew Oh1,4, Vijitha Manogaran1,4, Renuka Selvaraj1,4, Lee Ching Ng1,2 and Kyaw Thu Aung1,2,3,4
Keywords:bacteria, food safety, meat product, Singapore
Deli meats have been linked to several foodborne outbreaks worldwide. However, to the best of our knowledge, limited published data are available on microbiological quality of deli meats sold in Singapore. Deli meat samples (n = 120) obtained from retail establishments in Singapore were tested using standard plate counting for Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, E. coli O157, Listeria spp, Salmonella spp, Staphylococcus aureus, and Vibrio spp. B. cereus was found in 2% of the samples with concentrations <3 log CFU/g and non-pathogenic L. welshimeri in 2% of the samples with concentrations <10 CFU/g; overall, 90% of the samples and a standard plate count of <6 log CFU/g. Counter-top ham contained a significantly higher standard plate counts than factory-packed ham. These findings provided an update to the hygiene status of deli meats sold in Singapore, which should be useful to support policy development in food safety and hygiene in the future.