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A preventative approach to promote food safety: Bacterial contamination of domestic refrigerators

Fatemeh Esfarjani (Department of Food and Nutrition Policy and Planning Research, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Ramin Khaksar (Food Science and Technology Department, National Nutrition & Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Fatemeh Mohammadi Nasrabadi (Department of Food and Nutrition Policy and Planning Research, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Roshanak Roustaee (Department of Food and Nutrition Policy and Planning Research, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Haleh Alikhanian (Department of Food and Nutrition Policy and Planning Research, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Niloofar Khalaji (Department of Food and Nutrition Policy and Planning Research, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Amin Mousavi Khaneghah (Department of Food Science, Faculty of Food Engineering, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil)
Hedayat Hosseini (Food Science and Technology Department, National Nutrition & Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 1 August 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Domestic refrigerators could be considered as one of the major potential sources of food-borne diseases, in addition limited data are available regarding the level of contamination of domestic refrigerators in Iran. The purpose of this paper is to detect some of bacterial contamination in domestic refrigerators.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 104 households were randomly selected from ten health centers in five areas of Tehran, Iran. Visual inspection and temperature evaluation of the households’ refrigerators were done. In addition, the refrigerators were swabbed and analyzed for contaminants using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. DNA was isolated and purified by the proposed standard protocol.

Findings

Screening of the domestic refrigerators by PCR method showed that 51.7 percent of the samples were positive for pathogens as follows: L. monocytogenes 41.6 percent, S. aureus 5.5 percent, Salmonella spp 4.6 percent, and E. coli O157:H7 0 percent; consequently, none of mentioned pathogens were detected in 48.3 percent of the refrigerators. Results of the visual inspection indicated that 57 percent of the refrigerators were on desirable, 36.5 percent were acceptable, and 7 percent were weak conditions. Most of the refrigerators about 44 percent had desirable temperatures. There were no significant correlations between the visual inspection scores, temperature and frequency of isolation of specific pathogens in the domestic refrigerators. A significant correlation was observed between contamination and education of parents (p < 0.05).

Originality/value

Determination of the bacterial contamination and evaluating the temperature of domestic refrigerators in Iran can be considered as a novel approach of current study. These findings could be employed in designing and implementing appropriate educational interventions to promote food safety and diminish the risk of food-borne illnesses. Also, obtained results might be applied as introduction for further investigations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Disclaimer: All authors declared no personal or financial conflicts of interest.

The authors would like to express thanks to the Research Council of National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Science and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran and Parto Sard Tavan (Himalia) company for their financial support (Grant No. 450.1). This study was part of a PhD dissertation, in which the first author is the PhD by research candidate. The authors would like to thank all women that joined the authors initiative agreeing to carry out this study, Amir Izadi who collaborated for providing technical facilities of his molecular biology lab (Banej Exsir) in successful completion of our project work, and Sima Mortazavian for their assistance.A. Mousavi Khaneghah likes to thank the support of CNPq-TWAS Postgraduate Fellowship (Grant No. 3240274290).

Citation

Esfarjani , F., Khaksar, R., Mohammadi Nasrabadi, F., Roustaee, R., Alikhanian, H., Khalaji , N., Mousavi Khaneghah, A. and Hosseini, H. (2016), "A preventative approach to promote food safety: Bacterial contamination of domestic refrigerators", British Food Journal, Vol. 118 No. 8, pp. 2076-2091. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-01-2016-0025

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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