One-third of samples of milk and dairy products analysed in various restaurants exceed the microbe contamination limits set by the European Union, according to a study carried out by researchers from the University of Valencia (UV). The experts advise against keeping milk in jugs and suggest that these foodstuffs need to be better handled.
"Out of all the dairy products we analysed, 35% of the samples exceeded the maximum contamination levels established by EU law for enterobacteriaceae, and 31% exceeded the limits set for mesophilic aerobic microorganisms (which grow at an optimum temperature of between 30 and 45C)", Isabel Sospedra, a researcher at the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of the UV and one of the authors of the study, tells SINC.
The scientists examined 265 batches of milk and ready-to-use milk derivatives in a range of bars and restaurants in Valencia, and checked whether their microbial quality fell into line with European Union regulations. The results, which have been published recently in the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, show that one-third of the samples had some kind of microorganism contamination and were not fit for human consumption.
"Luckily none of the batches we analysed tested positive for Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes or Salmonella spp., which are pathogenic microorganisms that cause both food poisoning and toxoinfections", the study's authors says.
The researchers found differences according to the source of the sample (hot milk, products at room temperature or homemade dairy products). According to the study, 2% of the samples of hot milk (kept in jugs or stainless steel thermos flasks) tested positive for the bacteria Escherichia coli.
The team detected unsuitable practices, such as reheating milk over and over again, even in a microwave, and then pouring it back into the thermos, which increases the risk of
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology