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Microbiological Quality of Ready-to-Eat Leafy Green Salads during Shelf-Life and Home-Refrigeration

Department of Science, Roma Tre University, Viale Guglielmo Marconi 446, 00146 Rome, Italy
Interuniversity Consortium INBB National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems, Viale delle Medaglie d’Oro, 305, 00136 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(10), 1421;
Received: 14 September 2020 / Revised: 30 September 2020 / Accepted: 2 October 2020 / Published: 8 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiological Safety and Quality of Food)
The market of ready-to-eat leafy green salads is experiencing a noticeable growth in Europe. Since they are intended to be consumed without additional treatments, these ready-to-eat products are associated with a high microbiological risk. The aim of this work was to evaluate the microbiological quality and safety of ready-to-eat leafy green salads sold in widespread supermarket chains in Lazio, Italy, on the packaging date during shelf-life and during home-refrigeration. The study also aimed to determine the differences between low-, medium-, and high-cost products. Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes were chosen as safety indicators as specified by European regulations while total aerobic mesophilic bacteria and Escherichia coli were chosen as quality indicators as suggested by national guidelines. Analyses were performed following the ISO standards and in parallel for the evaluation of total aerobic mesophilic bacteria, with an alternative colorimetric system, the Micro Biological Survey method, in order to propose a simple, affordable and accurate alternative for testing the microbiological quality of products, especially suitable for small and medium enterprises and on-site analyses. The study revealed high, unsatisfactory, total bacterial loads in all analyzed samples on the packaging date and expiry date and a very high prevalence of Salmonella spp. (67%) regardless of the selected varieties and cost categories; L. monocytogenes was not recovered aligning with the results obtained in other studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: RTE salads; microbiological quality; shelf-life; MBS method RTE salads; microbiological quality; shelf-life; MBS method
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MDPI and ACS Style

Arienzo, A.; Murgia, L.; Fraudentali, I.; Gallo, V.; Angelini, R.; Antonini, G. Microbiological Quality of Ready-to-Eat Leafy Green Salads during Shelf-Life and Home-Refrigeration. Foods 2020, 9, 1421.

AMA Style

Arienzo A, Murgia L, Fraudentali I, Gallo V, Angelini R, Antonini G. Microbiological Quality of Ready-to-Eat Leafy Green Salads during Shelf-Life and Home-Refrigeration. Foods. 2020; 9(10):1421.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arienzo, Alyexandra, Lorenza Murgia, Ilaria Fraudentali, Valentina Gallo, Riccardo Angelini, and Giovanni Antonini. 2020. "Microbiological Quality of Ready-to-Eat Leafy Green Salads during Shelf-Life and Home-Refrigeration" Foods 9, no. 10: 1421.

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