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Detection of harmful foodborne pathogens in food samples at the points of sale by MALDT-TOF MS in Egypt

Objectives Microbes can contaminate foodstuffs resulting in foodborne illnesses. Investigating microbial hazards in foods at the point of sale with rapid tools is required to avoid foodborne illness outbreaks. The current study aimed to identify the microbial hazards in food samples collected from retail shops at sale points using MALDI-TOF MS. Results Food samples were collected from stores and supermarkets in four Delta cities (Tanta, Kutour, Kafr-Elzayat and Benha). Analysis of 178 samples of fish, meat and dairy products revealed 20 different bacterial species. 44.76% of isolates were identified as E. coli, 17.44% were identified as Enterobacter spp., and E. cloacae was predominant. 12.2% were identified as Citrobacter spp., and C. braakii was predominant, and 8.7% were identified as Klebsiella spp., and K. pneumoniae was predominant. Moreover, eight Proteus mirabilis, six Morganella morganii, five Staphylococcus hominis, three Serratia marcescens, two Pseudomonas aeruginosa, one Salmonella typhimurium and one Enterococcus faecalis were detected. Foodstuffs not only be contaminated during production and processing but also during storage and transport. Identification of harmful human pathogens in foodstuffs is alarming and consider threatening to public health. Identification of microbiological hazards in foods using MALDI-TOF MS provides an efficient tool for identifying foodborne pathogens.

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