Sixty-nine batches of frozen and thawed cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) obtained from five Italian EEC-authorised fish farms were analyzed microbiologically. The following parameters were analyzed: total bacterial count, psychrophylic bacterial count, total coliform count, Escherichia coli count, Staphylococcus aureus count, enterococci count, presence of Salmonella spp., Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio cholerae. The total bacterial and psychrophylic bacterial counts were high in 55% of the batches. Salmonella spp. and V. cholerae were not detected. V. parahaemolyticus was isolated in 8.7% of the batches and although a very small percentage of strains are pathogenic, they represent a potential health risk to the consumer.
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