The microbiological quality of curd cheese prepared in northeastern Brazil and sold in street markets and supermarkets in the towns of Feira de Santana and Cruz das Almas BA Brazil, was evaluated for mesophyllic and psycrotrophic count, molds and yeasts, total coliforms and E. coli, and the occurrence of E. coli O157. Sixty-eight curd cheese samples were collected between February and June 2014 and the analysis for each microorganism was based on Norm N. 62 published in August 26, 2003 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA), according to successive dilutions, time and temperature of each organism. Counting of colonies was expressed as colony-forming units per ml of sample (UFC / mL). Escherichia coli O157 were transferred to the Singlepath E. coli O157 test from the culture medium MEC Broth with Novobiocin. The curd cheese revealed 100% contamination by mesophyllic microorganisms, 51.47% by psycrotrophic, 98.53% by yeasts and molds, 88.24% by coliforms, 77.94% by E. coli and 22% by E. coli O157 serotype. Curd cheese sold in the street market and in supermarkets in Feira de Santana and Cruz das Almas proved to have been prepared under unsatisfactory hygienic conditions, endangering the health of consumers and featuring contamination rates above those permitted by law.
Key words: Escherichia coli, hygiene, bacteria, fungi, coliforms, microorganisms.
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