Monitoring of foodborne pathogens in raw cow milk in Tuscany

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Laura Gasperetti *
Alessia D'Alonzo
Matteo Senese
Ilaria Fabbri
Cristina Cirri
Carla Milioni
Valeria Valenza
Rita Tolli
Francesca Campeis
Roberto Fischetti
(*) Corresponding Author:
Laura Gasperetti |


Raw milk consumption in Italy has increased over the last few years and although raw milk is characterised by cold chain, short shelf-life and the duty of boiling before domestic consumption, it is still considered a hazard. From 2010 to 2013 a monitoring survey of raw milk sold through vending machines was carried out to investigate the occurrence of several foodborne pathogens stipulated in the national legal requirements, i.e. Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli O:157 and coagulase-positive Staphylococci. A total of 127 raw milk samples were collected from 19 dairy herds in Tuscany Region, Italy. In addition, the milk samples were tested for the presence and count of Yersinia genus. Results shown that only one sample was positive for non verocytotoxin- producing E. coli O:157, whereas a total of 38 samples (29.9%) were postive for Yersinia genus; of the total 39 isolated bacteria, 23.6% were Y. enterocolitica, 2.4% Y. kristenseni and 4.7% Y. frederiksenii. None isolate was enteropathogenic; serotypes O:5 and O:8 were found in 16.6 and 13.3% of the isolates respectively, whereas none of the serotypes tested was detected in 70% of the isolates. The most probable number method revealed a count value between 0.03 and 24 MPN/mL. Based on these data a general assurance on health safety of raw milk produced and sold in Tuscany could be assessed.

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