Microbiological quality of trahira fish (Hoplias malabaricus) from Baixada Maranhense, municipality of São Bento, MA

<div><p>ABSTRACT: Fish are considered rich sources of nutrients. Health care throughout its production chain aims to ensure quality, minimizing the risks of transmission of foodborne diseases. In order to evaluate the microbiological quality of trahira fish (H. malabaricus), 40 samples were analysed for Most Probable Number (MPN) of coliforms at 45ºC, counts of aerobic mesophilic bacteria and Staphylococcus spp., identification of E. coli, Salmonella spp. and Aeromonas spp.. Analyses were conducted according to official methods, procedures, and recommendations. Microbiological results showed coliform values at 45 °C ranging from <3 to > 1.1 × 103 MPN/g, presence of E. coli in 14 (35%) samples, counts of mesophilic aerobic bacteria from 9 × 102 to 109 CFU/g and absence of coagulase positive Staphylococcus aureus. Salmonella spp. was detected in 2 (5%) samples, which is in disagreement with the standards required by the RDC Nº 12 of January, 2001 (ANVISA) regarding Aeromonas spp. In total, 36 (90%) samples were contaminated, 7 (19.4%) by A. cavie and 29 (80.6%) by A. hidrophila. The results of this research showed unsatisfactory hygienic and sanitary conditions of fish from the municipality of São Bento (MA), exposing consumers to the risk of foodborne diseases.</p></div>