Authors: ENVER BARIŞ BİNGÖL, ÖMER ÇETİN, HİLAL ÇOLAK, HAMPARSUN HAMPİKYAN
Abstract: The present study was conducted to determine the presence of enterotoxin and verotoxin levels in Turkish cheeses sold in retail stores in İstanbul, Turkey. For this purpose, 150 cheese samples (25 pieces of each: white pickled cheese, tulum cheese, mihaliç cheese, hellim cheese, örgü cheese, and civil cheese) were analyzed microbiologically for Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and E. coli O157:H7, and the presence of the toxins was identified using an ELISA test (RIDASCREEN® Set A, B, C, D, E and Verotoxin). Of the examined samples, 40 (26.66%) were positive for S. aureus and 55 (36.66%) were positive for E. coli, whereas E. coli O157 was isolated in 3 of these cheeses but no E. coli O157:H7 was found. However, enterotoxins and verotoxins were detected in 25 and in 3 of the cheeses, respectively. As a result, it was concluded that even though the level of microorganisms in the cheese was not sufficient to cause disease, the presence of toxins could be considered a potential risk for public health.
Keywords: Cheese, enterotoxin, verotoxin, S. aureus, E. coli O157:H7
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