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English Title

FOOD SAFETY PRACTICES AMONG FOOD CARTS IN -NORTH LEBANON

Keywords

Food Safety, Microbiology, MRSA, Food Street, Swabs, Vendors, Ancient food

Disciplines

Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences

Abstract

Street food carts serve different types of popular and traditional foods; it is a common economic sector worldwide. In North Lebanon, food carts are mobile or centered in specific places serving common and well known RTE meals. In addition, the increasing incidence of foodborne illnesses associated with street foods sheds light on the importance of inspecting the practices of street vendors. Therefore, the aim of this study is to assess the food safety in 30 food carts using an observational checklist and to perform microbiological analysis for the detection of foodborne pathogens namely; yeast, mold, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Enterohemorrhagic E.coli, B-glucuronidase E.coli, Enterobacteriaceae and Clostridium perfringens in 10 samples of orange juice, 10 samples of cheese caek and 10 samples of meat shawarma; moreover to investigate the prevalence of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in RTE foods and street vendor’s hands. Out of 30 vendors, 100% were males, 80% with an age between 25-44, 80% of them had less than high school level and 66.7% had fixed stalls. When vendors were observed for food safety practices, 70% and 86.7% of them did not store raw materials separately nor in suitable form respectively, 43.5% cleaned their carts monthly, 96% shared utensils between many types of food, 70% did not clean the counter top surface before starting food preparation; moreover 96%, 76 % and 83% of vendors were not wearing net, gloves nor an appropriate uniform, respectively. Results showed that all tested samples were contaminated with at least one of the tested foodborne pathogens, unsatisfactory levels of yeast and mold were recorded in 10 and 9 orange juice samples, respectively. On the other hand, B-glucuronides E.coli exceeded standard limit in two samples of RTE food, one shawarma sample did not meet standard with respect to C. perfringens, Remarkably, unsatisfactory levels of S. aureus were detected in 55 % of RTE samples and in 30 % of vendor’s hands. S. aureus strains were susceptible to at least one of the used antibiotics, accordingly one isolated from vendor’s hand is considered as MRSA. Therefore, the unsatisfactory levels of yeast, mold and S. aureus in tested samples were induced by vendor’s violation of food safety practices. Consequently, the current proposes to improve the legislation needs to provide safe food for the end consumer.

Author ORCID Identifier

Hanin Hasan - https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1927-1519

Nada El Darra - https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6568-5536

Alissar Al Khatib - https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8627-2784

DOI

https://www.doi.org/10.54729/ZLIC6777

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