Microbiological and chemical evaluation of Helix spp. snails from local and non-EU markets, utilised as food in Sardinia

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Arianna Corda
Laura Mara
Sebastiano Virgilio
Margherita Pisanu
Giannina Chessa
Antonio Parisi
Maria Paola Cogoni *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Maria Paola Cogoni | paola.cogoni@izs-sardegna.it

Abstract

With this study, 28 pools of snails of the genus Helix, respectively Helix aspersa (n=24) and Helix vermiculata (n=4) were analysed. They were taken from snail farming and stores. The snails were from Sardinia, other regions of Italy, and from abroad. All the samples were examined as pool looking for these microbiological target: Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157, Clostridium perfringens, Norovirus and Hepatitis A Virus (HAV). In the same pools, the concentration of cadmium and lead by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was also determined. The levels of these heavy metals were quite high, especially for cadmium. Two samples were positive for Salmonella spp., while no sample was positive for Escherichia coli O157, HAV and Norovirus. Two samples were positive for Clostridium perfringens and 8 for Listeria monocytogenes. The microrganisms related to Listeria monocytogenes were identified using biochemical techniques, then serotyped and gene sequenced by multiple loci sequence typing technique. Furthermore, antimicrobial restistence was tested on the same samples.

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