Owing to their nutrient composition, dairy products ensure a favourable environment for different microorganisms. In our study, we investigated the microbiological quality of 22 different commercially available dairy products obtained from local stores and the open-air public market. Among the studied samples four were salty type soft cheese, two were fresh cheese, one was soft cheese (Mascarpone), one was feta-like cheese (Telemea), five were varieties of processed cheese, one was mozzarella, one was a semi-hard cheese, one was smoked cheese, five were cottage cheese, and one was a dairy spread. Samples were evaluated for the presence of Pseudomonas sp., total coliforms, Escherichia coli, Salmonella sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens, yeast, and microscopic fungi.
Contamination level of the evaluated dairy products varied widely. Among the dairy samples one salty soft cheese, a processed cheese and one cottage cheese were the most contaminated, while low microbiological load was detected in the other samples.
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