The microbiological quality of take-away raw salmon finger sushi sold in Hong Kong

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Journal Article

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Nigiri, Microbiological quality, Ready-to-eat food, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp




The safety of ready-to-eat foods is an important issue. Improper storage and handling of ready-to-eat items may lead to foodborne disease outbreaks. In this study, raw salmon finger sushi (nigiri) was selected as a target ready-to-eat food for microbiological surveillance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbiological quality of take-away sushi sold in the licensed sushi shops in Hong Kong. Sushi samples were collected from 120 randomly selected licensed sushi shops in the 19 districts in Hong Kong from 1st June to 30th July 2014. They were tested for aerobic colony count (ACC), Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus counts as well as the presence of Salmonella spp. to evaluate their overall hygienic quality. None of the samples was found to contain Salmonella spp. and 1.7% of the collected samples were classified as unsatisfactory for containing more than 100 CFU/g of E. coli indicating the overall hygienic quality of take-away sushi in Hong Kong was good. There was no significant difference between samples purchased from chain stores and those from self-hosted business, suggesting that microbiological quality of take-away sushi was not affected by these two types of business models. Based on the current findings, it was suggested that the government should have more frequent routine inspections and provide food hygiene education to the workers in the sushi shops in Hong Kong so as to minimize the risk of foodborne disease outbreaks.

Source Publication

Food Control

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