Surveillance for Contamination of Salad with Listeria Monocytogenes in Some of Baghdad Restaurants
Background: Listeria monocytogenes, a member of the genus Listeria, is widely distributed in agricultural environments, such as soil, manure and water. The genus of Listeria bacteria is about 15-17 species. It is a pathogenic bacterium that can cause a rare but dangerous infection called listeriosis.
Objectives: Studying the rate of salads contaminated with Listeria bacteria. and Listeria monocytogenes according to International, Arabic and Iraqi specifications and finding the correlation between commitments of restaurants to standard health conditions with contamination with these bacteria
Methods: The study included 152 samples of salads taken from 39 restaurants chosen randomly and of different levels and places in Baghdad from the period between 1/9/2014 to 20/1/2015. The laboratory tests were carried out on samples based on internationally approved methods in addition to methods of the International Standards Organization.
Results: The study revealed that 23 samples (15.13%) from the 152 samples taken from the restaurants were contaminated with Listeria species. of these, 3 (2%) were contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes and 20 (13.2%) were contaminated with other types of different and non-pathogenic Listeria as follows; (Listeria welshimeri, Listeria seeligeri, Listeria ivanovii, Listeria grayi, Listeria innocua) with the following prevalence (7(4.6%), 6(3.9%), 3(2%), 3(2%), 1 (0.7%) respectively).
Conclusions: Contamination of salads taken from restaurants with Listeria bacteria is not uncommon. This indicates that routine examination is necessary and should be added to the Iraqi standard for salads.