Microbial Quality of Fresh and Frozen Fish from Markets of Lahore
The present study aims at the microbiological analysis of market oriented fresh and frozen fish. Displayed portions of raw fish and frozen carried bacteria that can cause foodborne diseases clearly indicates the risk posed by poor sanitation and unhygienic handling, storage and transportation conditions of fish sold in the markets. Research was designed to compare the presence of indigenous and nonindigenous foodborne bacterial pathogens in displayed, prepacked and packed portions of fish in different markets of Lahore, Pakistan. A total 40 samples of fish were purchased from Super Store (Hyper star), Local Market (local carry shop Mughalpura), Retail shop (Data Darbar), and Fresh water (River Ravi) in Lahore city and analyzed for their microbial quality. All the samples were positive for Total plate count, coliform count, Staphylococcal count, Vibrio count. Among 10 fresh water fish samples mean total Plate Count was 3.8 x 103 CFU/g (log 3.58 ± 0.03526 CFU/g). Among 10 super store fish samples mean total plate count was 4.9 x 104 CFU/g (log 4.05 ± 0.22815CFU/g). Among 10 retail store fish samples mean total plate count was 5.02 x 104 CFU/g (4.19 ± 0.0343 CFU/g) and among 10 local market fish samples mean total plate count was 5.14 x 104 CFU/g (4.212 ± 0.03793 CFU/g). In total, the plate counts range from minimum count log 3.16 to maximum count of 5.30 CFU/g. This study revealed that fish sold in Pakistan could be a source of foodborne bacterial pathogens. Improvements in handling and processing are needed to minimize the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria.