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This study was conducted to investigate the incidence of pathogenic bacteria: Salmonella, Shigella, Escherichia coli O157 and Staphylococcus aureus in cakes and tarts collected from thirtyfive confectionery producing and selling premises located within Tripoli city, Libya. The results revealed an incidence of S. aureus with 94.4 and 48.0 %, E. coli O157 with 14.7 and 4.0 % and Salmonella sp. with 5.9 and 8.0 % in cakes and tarts samples respectively; while Shigella was not detected in all<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1060286">doi:10.5281/zenodo.1060286</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/release/wb4badkewfd3noolhb3qflz474">fatcat:wb4badkewfd3noolhb3qflz474</a> </span>
more »... s. In order to determine the source of these pathogenic bacteria, cotton swabs were taken from the hands of workers on the production line, the surfaces of preparation tables and cream whipping instruments. The results showed that the cotton swabs obtained from the hands of workers contained S. aureus and Salmonella sp. with an incidence of 42.9 and 2.9 %, the cotton swabs obtained from the surfaces of preparation tables 22.9 and 2.9 % and the cotton swabs obtained from the cream whipping instruments 14.3 and 0.0 % respectively; while E. coli O157 and Shigella sp. were not detected in all swabs. Additionally, other bacteria were isolated from the hands of workers and the Surfaces of producing equipments included: Aeromonas sp., Pseudomonas sp., E. coli, Klebsiella sp., Enterobacter sp., Citrobacter sp., Proteus sp., Serratia sp. and Acinetobacter sp. These results indicate that some of the cakes and tarts might pose threat to consumer's health. Meanwhile, occurrences of pathogenic bacteria on the hands of those who are working in production line and the surfaces of equipments reflect poor hygienic practices at most confectionery premises examined in this study. Thus, firm and continuous surveillance of these premises is needed to insure the consumer's health and safety.
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