Occurence, E.coli, meat, Lebanon, Food safety


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Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) has been recognized as a major cause of diarrhea and hemolytic- uremic syndrome (HS). The consumption of raw or undercooked meat of bovine origin has been the most common mean of transmitting this organism. No screening of E.coli has been performed in the ground meat commercialized in the Lebanese market. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the prevalence of E. coli serotype O157:H7 recovered from ground fresh raw meat collected from different butcheries in Lebanese Urban cities. A total of 73 samples of fresh ground meat was collected from Sin el fil area (n=23), Hadath (n=16), Ghoubayri (n=16) and Antelias (n=18), and investigated for the presence of E. coli O157: H7. E. coli O157:H7 was isolated in 16 (22%) out of 73 meat samples examined. This high prevalence was variable between the different cities, with the highest one in Ghoubayri (43%), followed by Sin el fil (21%), Hadath (12%) and Antelias (11%). This study revealed the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in retail raw meats reaching consumers, especially in crowded urban city such as Ghoubayri. This result is an indication of the poor hygienic level in the different butcheries localized in the Lebanese urban cities, thus reflecting possible risks of infection to people through the consumption of fresh raw/under-cooked meat.



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