ABSTRACT

Food safety is a current challenge that needs to be addressed globally to overcome burden of foodborne diseases. In this study, food samples collected from Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, were analyzed for microbial quality. Parameters to measure the presence or absence of Salmonella, Staphylococcus, coliform, fungi, enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, and total viable counts in foods were studied. Enumeration of aerobic mesophilic bacteria and coliform bacteria was carried out to check the quality of water. The results showed that there was microbial contamination in the foods served at hospital under investigation for this study. Most of the contamination existed because of nonhygienic practices by individuals and serving places. Salmonella, fecal coliforms, and fungal cross-contamination was reported. A hazard analysis and critical control point system was implemented to study what areas are at greater risk and are a reason of contamination in the hospital. The study concluded that high prevalence of the microbial contamination was observed in facilities of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital, requiring strict preventive and precautionary measures to be taken to ensure the safety and health of patients and attendants in the hospital.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Foodborne illnesses were caused by poor hygiene within medical facilities, such as cafeterias.

  • Microbes proliferate if there is cross-contamination with staff and equipment used for food.

  • Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and E. coli are foodborne microbes causing illnesses in this study.

  • Food safety systems, such as HACCP, can help ensure food safety within medical institutes.

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