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Francesco Casalinuovo, Donatella Brindisi, Paola Rippa, Carlotta Ceniti, Lucia Ciambrone, Rosanna Musarella and Nicola Costanzo


Tuna is a food widely consumed fresh and canned as well. After catching and filleting, a pre-cooking step is normally followed by freezing and shipping to canning industry as loins. The aim of this paper was to assess the microbiological quality and safety of tuna loins (50 samples) imported by an Italian canned tuna producer from two different FAO fishing areas. Total bacterial count (TBC), Coliforms, Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio cholera, pH measurement, S. aureus enterotoxin and histamine levels were evaluated. Significant differences were evidenced for TBC, Enterobacteriaceae, E. coli, Coliforms and pH between fishing areas. Staphylococcus aureus was detected in all the samples tested at 1 to 3 Log cfu/g; Staphylococcus warneri, S. saprophyticus, S. epidermidis, S. hominis, S. intermedius, S. vitulinus and S. sciuri were also identified. Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Vibrio cholera and Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin were not detected. Histamine ranged between 0 to 5 mg/kg. The tuna loins analysed in this paper have to be considered safe; staphylococci presence represents a possible concern and has to been taken in account when risk analysis is carried out.