Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
BLANCO-RIOS, Freddy A.; CASADIEGO-ARDILA, Gloria and PACHECO, Paola A.. The microbiological quality of food sent to a public health laboratory in 2009. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2011, vol.13, n.6, pp.953-965. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642011000600008.
Objective Testing the microbiological qualityof foodsamples from municipalities in theSantander department which were processed bythePublicHealth Laboratory(PHL) in 2009. Materialsand Methods The microbiological quality of food samples sent to the Santander PHL in 2009 was analysed by collecting reports issued by the institution and conducting a statistical analysis of 763 food samples from 76 municipalities in the department. Minitab statistical software (version 15) and Statistica (version 8.0) were used for analysing the information by municipality; this information was organised by food category and adverse incident frequency was analysed in each municipality from January to December 2009. Results It was seen that 45.2 % (n=345) of 763 food records had bacterial contamination; there was a greater frequency of these events in the municipalities of Barichara, Barrancabermeja, Floridablanca, Girón, Socorro and Valle de San Jose accounting for 33.6 % (n=116) of all affected samples. The main foods that had non-standard parameters were prepared foods (160 samples submitted), of which 80 had alterations in quality (50 %), followed by drinks like fruit juice and soft drinks (48.3 %), dairy products (47.9 %) and meat (40.7 %). Conclusions A high rate of food contamination was found in the samples sent to PHL during 2009; this information is useful for planning preventative action within the ongoing PHL surveillance programme.
Keywords : Food contamination; food borne illness; food poisoning.