In order to assess the microbiological quality of Merguez and influence of temperature on the rate of contamination, from April 2 to May 12, 2016, a study was undertaken in two types of meat retailing in the region of M'Sila, Algeria. A total of 60 samples of Merguez were collected in ten sites from five markets and five independent butcher’s shops, for purposes of microbiological analysis. The majority of the samples were contaminated by coagulase positive staphylococci and thermotolerant coliforms. The average counting in both types combined trade were 2.0±0.2 log10 cfu/g for thermotolerant coliforms and 2.2±0.2 log10 cfu/g for coagulase positive staphylococci. However, all samples were free of Salmonella spp. and sulphite-reducing Clostridium. Compared to the days of sampling, both bacterial indicators counted in covered markets were significantly different from one day to another (p<0.05). However, no significant difference (p>0.05) were reported between daily concentration for these two groups of bacteria counted in samples from independent butchers. These results show disrespect the rules of good hygienic practices during preparation, storage and sale of Merguez. The potential consequences of the consumption of these foods on the health of consumers should motivate disease control measures.
Key words: Algeria, thermotolerant coliforms, coagulase positive staphylococci, sulphite-reducing Clostridium, Salmonella, microbiological, covered markets, independent butchers, sausages, temperature.
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