Microbial Quality and Safety of Anchovy Undergone Enzyme Maturation Treatment in Brine at Processing Plant in Albania


1 Department of Veterinary Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (FVM), Kodër-Kamëz, Tirana, Albania

2 Department of Food Microbiology, Food Safety and Veterinary Institute (FSVI), “Aleksandër Moisiu” No. 10, Tirana, Albania *Corresponding author; E-mail: mshehu@ubt.edu.al

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The fish processing industry is increasingly becoming an important component in fishery sector and currently has as significant contribution in labor market in Albania. We aimed to assess the microbiological status of processed anchovies (Engraulis spp.) in brine from different Albania manufacturers and to identify the contamination factor associated with these products. A total of 150 anchovies samples were collected during the year 2018. The total aerobic mesophilic bacteria (AMB) concentration varied from 2.1 to 2.6 Log10 CFU/g in 40% of the samples analysed. Escherichia coli were present in low level in 4 out of 27 (15%) and density of coagulase positive staphylococci varied from 2.0 to 2.2 Log10 CFU/g in 5% (4 out of 83 samples), while neiher Salmonella spp. nor Listeria monocytogenes was found respectively in 15 and 25 anchovy samples. Microbiological hazard analysis of practices allowed to identify the sensitive steps where hygiene measures need to be emphasized for an improved quality control. The fluctuations in the microbial loads of AMB, coagulase positive staphylococci, E. coli, were mainly ouline to inadequate handling or processing procedures, thus suggesting the need for an enhancement of staff training activities and for a reorganization of tasks as part of implementing HACCP system and complying with EU requirements.

Keywords: anchovy; E.coli; Salmonella spp; L. monocytogenes; coagulase positive staphylococci