A total of 396 food samples (ready-to-eat meat and poultry products; shellfish and finfish products; some raw shell and finfish and meat products; salads and coleslaws; baked confectionary) was purchased from local retail outlets and examined for the presence of motile aeromonads. Of the food categories tested, shellfish had the highest incidence, with 66% positive. Vegetable products, luncheon meat, salami, paté, and poultry products had very low incidences, and no motile aeromonads were found in baked confectionary, some of which contained whipped cream. Beef, pork, lamb, sausage, and finfish products had incidences above 20%. Most of the strains isolated were Aeromonas hydrophila. Given the reported distribution, a public health problem may exist if motile aeromonads do cause gastrointestinal disease.

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