Sohan is one of the confectionery products produced in Qom, Iran. Microbial contamination of confectionary items is crucial in terms of hygienic and economic issues. This sort of spoilage shortens the storage time and causes an outbreak of food poisoning. Due to the high utilization of these products, it is vital to implement microbiological management to improve shelf life and maintain quality. The present study aimed to evaluate the levels of microbiological contamination in Sohan.
In this study, the Sohan products of Qom were classified according to the Code of Health, standard logo, as well as ISO 9001:2008 and 22000:2005 certifications. Then, 1 to 2 boxes (out of 7 boxes) were purchased from an official representative shop in Qom. The diagnostic and enumeration tests for Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli (E. coli), coagulase-positive staphylococcus, as well as molds and yeasts, were performed in accordance with the national standards of 2461-1, 2946, 6806-3, and 10899-2, respectively.
Results of this study showed that 71.4% of the samples contained Enterobacteriaceae, and 14.2% of the samples contained coagulase-positive staphylococci higher than the determined standard levels. In addition, no case of contamination with molds, yeasts, and E. coli was observed among the samples.
Findings of the present investigation indicated the necessity for the precise implementation of Good Hygiene Practices in the factories manufacturing this product.