JOURNAL OF FOOD SAFETY, vol.38, no.5, 2018 (SCI-Expanded)
This study aimed to highlight general safety conditions of meat products (n=24, fresh meat, Turkish sucuk, sausage, and pastirma) and ingredients (n=20, red paprika, black pepper, coriander, spice mix and fenugreek powder) sold in Turkey regarding mold and aflatoxin contamination. Total 55 mold species belonging to Aspergillus and Penicillium sp. were isolated while A. flavus and A. niger were the most prevalent ones. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) was detected in 50% (n=12) and 65% (n=13) of the meat products and ingredients while 25% and 43% of sucuk and pastirma samples had mold counts exceeding the limits of Turkish Food Codex, respectively. However, one red paprika sample had AFB1 and total aflatoxin levels over the limitations of Turkish Food Codex and European Commission. It was concluded that Turkish meat products/ingredients were generally safe for consumption.