TURKISH JOURNAL OF VETERINARY & ANIMAL SCIENCES, cilt.36, ss.424-432, 2012 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
The present study was conducted to determine the presence of enterotoxin and verotoxin levels in Turkish cheeses sold in retail stores in Istanbul, Turkey. For this purpose, 150 cheese samples (25 pieces of each: white pickled cheese, tulum cheese, mihalic cheese, hellim cheese, orgu cheese, and civil cheese) were analyzed microbiologically for Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and E. coli O157:H7, and the presence of the toxins was identified using an ELISA test (RIDASCREEN (R) Set A, B, C, D, E and Verotoxin). Of the examined samples, 40 (26.66%) were positive for S. aureus and 55 (36.66%) were positive for E. coli, whereas E. coli O157 was isolated in 3 of these cheeses but no E. coli O157:H7 was found. However, enterotoxins and verotoxins were detected in 25 and in 3 of the cheeses, respectively. As a result, it was concluded that even though the level of microorganisms in the cheese was not sufficient to cause disease, the presence of toxins could be considered a potential risk for public health.