Levels of Some Microbial Contaminants in Domestic Soft Cheese in Governorate of Salahuddin, Iraq
The level of contamination with microorganisms in domestic soft cheese in the governorate of Salahuddin made mostly by rural families and sold in nearest towns and cities was investigated. Eighty-four random samples of domestic soft cheese commercialized in some towns of the governorate “Tikrit, Samaraa, Tuz and Balad” were collected from various local market places in sterile and cold storing conditions and examined for microbial counts and some chemical tests. The average total plate count, yeasts and molds, psychrotrophic, thermophilic, spore forming bacteria, lipolytic, proteolytic, coliforms and Staphylococcus aureus counts calculated as Log10 were: 9.26, 6.08, 5.72, 4.28, 3.72, 6.08, 5.92, 6.11 and 5.93, respectively. In addition, Salmonellae was identified only in eight samples out of 44 (15.91%). Chemical analyses revealed no consistency in main contents of the tested cheese samples. The results showed the critical risks of the domestic soft cheese, and suggest inflexible hygienic measures must be followed.