Faculty of Aquatic Sciences, Department of Fisheries and Seafood Processing TechnologyDidem Üçok Alakavuk, Sühendan Mol
Since frozen ready-to-eat seafood has the potential to cause food poisoning, this study focuses on microorganisms that have the potential to be a health hazard found in frozen ready-to-eat seafood, which is sold to highly populous communities. Therefore, the most popular frozen ready-to-eat seafood, fish balls and surimi crab legs, from Istanbul market were studied. Samples were gathered from seven different branches of four major chain market brands, twice in winter (October-March) and twice in summer (April-September). As a result of seasonal conditions summer samples had higher microbial loads compared to winter samples. The average mesophilic and psychrophilic aerobic bacteria counts of fish balls and surimi crab legs were below ≤4 log cfu/g. All samples were safe in terms of Salmonella, Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio cholerae; and acceptable in terms of Staphylococcus aureus Clostridium perfringens, and Bacillus cereus. The microbiological load of fish balls was higher (p<0.05) than the other samples. It was observed that more than 80% of them are risky in terms of coliform bacteria. It is concluded that attention should be paid especially to minced and spice added products. It is essential to pay more attention to the marketing of ready-to-eat seafood during the summer seasons for the prevention of public health.