Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 10, Issue 2,2012
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Evaluation of the bacteriological quality of ice cream sold in Trinidad


Anil Pooran,  Nadira Seepersadsingh, Karla Georges,  Abiodun A. Adesiyun *

Recieved Date: 2012-01-04, Accepted Date: 2012-04-20


The bacteriological quality of ice cream sold to consumers in Trinidad was evaluated and factors that may contribute to its contamination were assessed. The cross-sectional study was conducted on ice cream sold by supermarkets and street vendors across Trinidad. The frequency of Salmonella spp., Listeria spp., Escherichia coli and staphylococci, as well as the total aerobic plate counts (TAPC) per g of ice cream were determined using standard methods. The frequency of isolation of these bacteria was compared for imported and locally produced ice cream, commercial and home-made, flavour, temperature and pH of the product. Of a total of 115 ice cream samples comprising 52 foreign commercial, 38 local commercial and 25 local home-made, all were negative for Salmonella and Listeria spp. while 1 (1.9%), 8 (21.1%) and 13 (52.0%), respectively, were positive for staphylococci; and 2 (3.8%), 10 (26.3%) and 22 (88.8%), respectively, were contaminated by E. coli. The differences were statistically significant (P<0.05). Overall, the TAPC per g of ice cream was 1.5×102±2.9×102 for foreign commercial, 7.4×104±3.4×105 for local commercial and 1.0×105±2.5×105 for local home-made which were statistically significantly different (P<0.05). Brands of ice cream of foreign commercial origin had significantly lower frequency of staphylococci, E. coli and lactose fermenters than those of local commercial and home-made sources. Coconut flavoured ice cream had the highest prevalence and mean counts of aerobic bacteria tested, while vanilla ice cream had the lowest one. The temperature and the pH of ice cream had a significant effect on its microbial load. Home-made ice cream in Trinidad appears to pose a high health risk to consumers compared to imported brands. It is imperative that bacteriological standards be enforced in order to prevent ice cream-borne gastroenteritis.


Salmonella spp., Listeria spp., Escherichia coli, staphylococci, contamination, temperature, pH

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2012
Volume: 10
Issue: 2
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 39-45

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