Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) handling features and coliform levels in markets of Maputo City

Version 1 : Received: 26 June 2018 / Approved: 26 June 2018 / Online: 26 June 2018 (15:41:42 CEST)

How to cite: Cambaza, E.; Gazeta, L.; Anapakala, E.; Koseki, S. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) handling features and coliform levels in markets of Maputo City. Preprints 2018, 2018060428 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0428.v1). Cambaza, E.; Gazeta, L.; Anapakala, E.; Koseki, S. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) handling features and coliform levels in markets of Maputo City. Preprints 2018, 2018060428 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201806.0428.v1).

Abstract

Markets from Maputo City have been reported to have poorly hygienic premises and sellers unaware of the safest food handling practices. This study aimed to analyze associations between some lettuce (Lactuca sativa) handling features and the levels of total, fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli. Cabbage was purchased in the 3 markets. Just before the acquisition, the researchers recorded the source of water used to wash it, if they were sold in booths or on the floor, if they were sold mixed with other products, and if the sellers were wearing gloves. The cabbage heads (42) were analyzed through the technique of multiple tubes to estimate the most probable number. Average levels were 14.43 MPN/g for total coliforms, 13.9 MPN/g for fecal coliforms and 12.02 MPN/g for E. coli. The highest levels of contamination seemed associated with the use of well water, the food sold on the floor, the lettuce sold together with other products and the lack of gloves. The mixture of products only showed a major impact on the level of E. coli (p < 0.001). Yet, all levels were within the satisfactory range, according to the guidelines from The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF).

Subject Areas

Lactuca sativa; handling; total coliforms; fecal coliforms; Escherichia coli; Maputo

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