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Microbiological Quality Assessment of Hospital Food in a Public Hospital in Fez (Morocco)

The food safety has become a major issue in hospitals, since patients are especially vulnerable to foodborne illness considered as nosocomial infection. Aims: Asses food’s health hazards in a hospital of Fez city (Morocco). Material and Results: Hygienic quality of food samples (n = 81: meals (40%), plants and vegetables (35%); meat / meat products (17%)) and contact surfaces (n = 80: local (32,5;%), equipment (50%) and staff’s hands (17,5%)) was evaluated during 2011, and involved germs have been researched using standard methods. Results interpreted according to the Moroccan and French standards showed that the percentage of food’s non-compliance was 12%, with 32% for plants / vegetables and 7% for meat / meat products. The criminalization of fecal coliform was important (91%) compared with Staphylococcus aureus (9%). Salmonella sp., Listeria monocytogenes, anaerobic sulphito-reducers, yeasts and molds were not implicated. Contact surfaces analysis showed that 40% of equipment, 38% of local and 29 % of the staff’s hands were not clean. The causative organisms were fecal coliforms (60%) and S. aureus (40 %). Conclusion: Contact surfaces may affect the hygienic quality of food served in the hospital. That could make the warning signal in hospitals for the establishment of a global quality policy to ensure food safety and to prevent healthcare associated infections. Indexing terms/Keywords: Food safety; Contact surfaces; Quality control; Foodborne illness; Nosocomial infection.