Document Type : Research Paper
Department of Food Hygiene and Aquatics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.
Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.
Introduction: Olivier salad is a commonly used cold fast food in Iran, which contains various nutrients. However, this food product is susceptible to bacterial contamination. The present study aimed to evaluate the chemical and microbial quality of the ready-to-eat Olivier salads sold in the groceries in Mashhad, Iran. Methods: This study was conducted on 26 samples of two types of Olivier salad containing chicken (n=17) and meat (n=9), which were collected from the local markets in Mashhad city. The samples were transferred to the laboratory in cold flasks to evaluate their microbial quality (coliforms, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella spp., clostridium perfringens, molds, and yeasts) and chemical quality (potassium sorbate, potassium benzoate, and benzoate levels) based on the Iran national standard No. 17813 and 17813-a-1, respectively. Results: Chemical tests indicated no significant differences in the levels of potassium sorbate, potassium benzoate, and benzoate (P>0.05) between the samples. On the other hand, 7.7% (2/26) and 23.07% (6/26) of the Olivier salad samples were contaminated with Salmonella and Escherichia coli, respectively, while all the samples were negative for Staphylococcus aureus contamination. Conclusion: Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus are of particular importance in food contamination. Lack of hygiene during production, contamination of raw materials, and elevated storage temperature are among the key influential factors in the increased contamination of food products. Therefore, the control and monitoring of the food chain must be prioritized.