In this work, aromatic and taste giving herbs including thyme (n=23), basil (n=23) and mint (n=19) samples collected from retail outlets of Igdir were examined for the microbiological quality as well as the detection of some pathogenic bacteria. Total aerobic mesophilic counts varied from 102 to107 cfu/g in thyme, 103 to 107 cfu/g in basil and mint samples. Coliforms were present in 34.8% of thyme, 69.6% of basil and 36.4% of mint samples. E. coli was detected only in a mint sample. Detection rate for staphylococci and micrococci in thyme, basil and mint was 21.7, 69.4 and 79%, respectively. Enterococci were observed in 21.7, 26 and 26.3% of thyme, basil and mint samples, respectively. Samples revealed the absence of Lactobacilli, S. aureus.E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp. Aerobic Spore Forming Bacteria (ASB) was present in 56.3% of thyme, 74% of basil and 94.8% of mint samples. Sulphide Reducing Clostridia (SRC) only occurred in 30.5% of thyme and 5.2% of mint samples included SRC. Total yeast and fungal counts indicated that 52% of thyme, 61% of basil, 58% of mint samples was > 104 cfu/g.
Key words: Thyme, basil, mint, herbs, microorganisms, Igdir.
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