Microbiological and parasitological contamination of vegetables, water and soil in rural communities of a municipality in the state of Bahia, Brazil, was assessed. Samples of Lactuca sativa, L., Coriandrum sativum and Solanum lycopersicum, soil, and irrigation water were analyzed between August and October, 2015. Total coliforms (TC), Escherichia coli, molds and yeasts on vegetables, soil and water, heterotrophic bacteria in water and soil were counted. Parasitological analyses were performed by spontaneous sedimentation method and by Rugai technique for vegetables and soil and by direct and Faust exams for water. Physical and chemical analyses included pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. TC counts were higher in lettuce samples (mean 2.8 log CFU g-1). E. coli counts did not comply with legislation in a lettuce sample with 3.3 log CFU g-1. TC had the highest counts, with mean between 3.7 and 4.9 log CFU g-1 in soil samples. All water samples showed poor conditions and most samples were positive for at least one parasite. Due to high microbial density and several parasite types in most samples, results showed poor sanitary quality of vegetables with health risks for people. It is crucial to invest in educational activities for handlers and farmers so that a better vegetable quality could be offered to the population. More efficient monitoring is required by health authorities, requiring periodic assessments for parasites so that consumers may have a better life quality.
Keywords: Agricultural produce, food production, food hygiene, sanitary profiles.
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