Main Article Content

Artan Studenica Erwin Märtlbauer Gjyle Mulliqi-Osmani


The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of bacterial contaminants (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella spp.) in 116 artisanal cheese samples sold in informal markets of Kosovo. The results provide evidence for a presence of the aforementioned contaminants in the artisanal cheese, with levels of positive samples of 64.7%, 39.7% and 3.4% for Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Listeria monocytogenes, respectively. Salmonella spp. could not be detected. It also could be shown that the contamination of the cheeses with Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus was higher during the summer season with Staphylococcus aureus counts up to 106 CFU/g, a level sufficient for the potential production of enterotoxins. The number of samples contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes was, however, higher during the winter season. Microbiological analyses relied on the ISO standards methods, an automated Enzyme Linked Fluorescent Assay for detection of Listeria monocytogenes was used in addition. The findings of this study strongly suggest that institutions responsible for public health, need to increase attention and control measures in order to improve the safety of foods sold in informal markets, particularly with regard to artisanal cheese which is a frequently consumed product.

Article Details


Aznar R., Solís, I. PCR detection of Listeria monocytogenes in different food products compared with the min-VIDAS LMO system and the standard procedure ISO 11290-1. Journal für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, 2006, 1(5): 115-120.

Barreto de Deus T., Barros L.S.S., Mendes da Silva R., Karine da Silva Lima W., Virgens Lima D.D., dos Santos Silva A. Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli in curd cheese sold in the Northeastern region of South America. International Journal of Microbiology, 2017, 2017(12): 8173741.

Bélanger L., Garenaux A., Harel J., Boulianne M., Nadeau E., Dozois Ch.M. Escherichia coli from animal reservoirs as a potential source of human extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli. FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology, 2011, 62(1): 1-10.

Bernardi G., Abrahão W.M., Benetti T.M., de Souza V.R., de Francisco T.G. Evaluation of the detection methods used for investigation of Listeria and Listeria monocytogenes. Joural of Food Nutrition Disorders, 2015, 4(6): 1000184.

Boggs J.D., Whitwam R.E., Hale L.M., Briscoe R.P., Kahn S.E., MacCormack J.N., Maillard J.M., Grayson S.C., Sigmon K.S., Reardon J.W., Saah J.R. Outbreak of listeriosis associated with homemade Mexican-style cheese-North Carolina, CDC- Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, October 2000 - January 2001, 50, pp. 560-562. Available at:

Can H., Elmali M. Seasonal distribution and virulence properties of Escherichia coli O157, Escherichia coli O157:H7 isolated from minced meat and traditional cheese samples. Kocatepe Veterinary Journal, 2017, 10(4): 256-263.

Chiu C.H., Su L.H., Chu C. Salmonella enterica serotype Choleraesuis: epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical disease, and treatment. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 2004, 17(2): 311-322.

Cokal Y., Dagdelen A., Cenet O., Gunsen U. Presence of L. monocytogenes and some bacterial pathogens in two Turkish traditional foods, Mihalic cheese and Hosmerim dessert. Food Control, 2012, 26(2): 337-340.

Costanzo N., Ceniti C., Santoro A., Clausi M.T., Casalinuovo F. Foodborne pathogen assessment in raw milk cheeses. International Journal of Food Science, 2020, 2020(1): 3616713.

De Buyser M.L., Dufour B., Maire M., Lafarge V. Implication of milk and milk products in food-borne diseases in France and in different industrialised countries. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2001, 67(1-2): 1-17. 10.1016/s0168-1605(01)00443-3

De Reu K., Debeuckelaere W., Botteldoorn N., De Block J., Herman L. Hygienic parameters, toxins and pathogen occurrence in raw milk cheeses. Journal of Food Safety, 2007, 22(3): 183-196.

De Reu K., Grijspeerdt K., Herman L. A belgian survey of hygiene indicator bacteria and pathogenic bacteria in raw milk and direct marketing of raw milk farm products. Journal of Food Safety, 2004, 24(1): 17-36.

Delbes C., Alomar J., Chougui N., Martin J.F., Montel M.Ch. Staphylococcus aureus growth and enterotoxin production during the manufacture of uncooked, semihard cheese from cows’ raw milk. Journal of Food Protection, 2006, 69(9): 2161-2167.

El Marnissi B., Bennani L., Cohen N., Lalami A.E.O., Belkhou R. Presence of Listeria monocytogenes in raw milk and traditional dairy products marketed in the north-central region of Morocco. African Journal of Food Science, 2013, 7(5): 87-91.

El-Kholy A., El-Shinawy S., Meshref A., Korany A. Safety of Domiati cheese. Journal of Food Safety, 2014, 34(4): 396-406.

Eng S.K., Pusparajah P., Ab Mutalib N.S., Ser H.L., Chan K.G., Lee L.H. Salmonella: A review on pathogenesis, epidemiology and antibiotic resistance. Frontiers in Life Science, 2015, 8(3): 284-293.

European Food Safety Authority and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EFSA and ECDC). The European Union summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks in 2017. EFS Journal, 2018, 16(12): 67-85.

Gaulin C., Levac E., Ramsay D., Dion R., Ismail J., Gingras S., Lacroix C. Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to raw milk cheese in Quebec, Canada: use of exact probability calculation and case-case study approaches to foodborne outbreak investigation. Journal of Food Protection, 2012, 75(5): 812-818.

Guzman-Hernandez R., Contreras-Rodriguez A., Hernandez-Velez R., Perez-Martinez I., Lopez-Merino A., Zaidi M.B., Estrada-Garcia T. Mexican unpasteurised fresh cheeses are contaminated with Salmonella spp., non-0157 Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli and potential urophatogenic E. coli strains: a public health risk. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2016, 237(11): 10-16.

Heredia N., García S. Animals as sources of food-borne pathogens: A review. Animal Nutrition, 2018, 4(3): 250-255.

Ho A.J., Ivanek R., Gröhn Y.T., Nightingale K.K., Wiedmann, M. Listeria monocytogenes fecal shedding in dairy cattle shows high levels of day-to-day variation and includes outbreaks and sporadic cases of shedding of specific L. monocytogenes subtypes. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 2007, 80(4): 287-305.

Hummerjohann J., Naskova J., Baumgartner A., Graber H.U. Enterotoxin-producing Staphylococcus aureus genotype B as a major contaminant in Swiss raw milk cheese. Journal of Dairy Science, 2014, 97(3): 1305-1312.

Jørgensen H.J., Mørk T., Rørvik L.M. The occurrence of Staphylococcus aureus on a farm with small-scale production of raw milk cheese. Journal of Dairy Science, 2005, 88(11): 3810-3817.

Kérouanton A., Hennekinne J.A., Letertre C., Petit L., Chesneau O., Brisabois A., De Buyser M.L. Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus strains associated with food poisoning outbreaks in France. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2007, 115(3): 369-375.

Langer A.J., Ayers T., Grass J., Lynch M., Angulo F.J., Mahon B.E. Nonpasteurized dairy products, disease outbreaks, and state laws - United States 1993-2006. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2012, 18(3): 385-391.

Little C.L., Rhoades J.R., Sagoo S.K., Harris J., Greenwood M., Mithani V., Grant K., McLauchlin J. Microbiological quality of retail cheeses made from raw, thermized or pasteurized milk in the UK. Food Microbiology, 2008, 25(2): 304-312.

Lunden J., Tolvanen R., Korkeala H. Human listeriosis outbreaks linked to dairy products in Europe. Journal of Dairy Science, 2004, 87(E Suppl.): E6-E11.

McCollum J.T., Williams N.J., Beam S.W., Cosgrove S., Ettestad P.J., Ghosh T.S., Kimura A.C., Nguyen L., Stroika S.G., Vogt R.L., Watkins A.K., Weiss J.R., Williams I.T., Cronquist A.B. Multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections associated with in-store sampling of an aged raw-milk Gouda cheese. Journal of Food Protection, 2012, 75(10): 1759-1765.

Mead P.S., Slutsker L., Dietz V., McCraig L.F., Bresee J.S., Shapiro C., Griffin P.M., Tauxe R.V. Food-related illness and death in the United States. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 1999, 5(5): 840-842.

Medveďová A., Studeničová A., Valík L., Ladislav O. Microbial and senzory quality of raw milk cheeses from the milk vending machines. Acta Chimica Slovaca, 2013, 6(1): 49-54.

Morse D., DeLorenzo M.A., Wilcox C.J., Collier R.J., Natzke R.P., Bray D.R. Climatic effects on occurrence of clinical mastitis. Journal of Dairy Science, 1988, 71(3): 848-853.

Oktay H.I., Heperkan D. Evaluation of ISO method and VIDAS automated system for identifying Listeria and Salmonella in selected foods. Journal of Rapid Methods & Automation in Microbiology, 2006, 14(2): 133-145.

Oliver S.P., Jayarao B.M., Almeida R.A. Foodborne pathogens in milk and the dairy farm environment: Food safety and public health implications. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, 2005, 2(2): 115-129.

Ombarak R.A., Hinenoya A., Awasthi S.P., Iguchi A., Shima A., Elbagory A.R.M., Yamasaki S. Prevalence and pathogenic potential of Escherichia coli isolates from raw milk and raw milk cheese in Egypt. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2016, 221(3): 69-76.

Pexara A., Solomakos N., Sergelidis D., Angelidis A.S., Govaris, A. Occurrence and antibiotic resistance of enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus in raw ovine and caprine milk in Greece. Dairy Science & Technology, 2016, 96(11): 345–357.

Queiroz O.C.M., Ogunade I.M., Weinberg Z., Adesogan A.T. Silage review: Foodborne pathogens in silage and their mitigation by silage additives. Journal of Dairy Science, 2018, 101(5): 4132-4142.

Rola J.G., Czubkowska A., Korpysa-Dzirba W., Osek J. Occurrence of Staphylococcus aureus on farms with small scale production of raw milk cheeses in Poland. Toxins, 2016, 8(3): 8030062.

Sakwinska O., Giddey M., Moreillon M., Morisset D., Waldvogel A., Moreillon P. Staphylococcus aureus host range and human-bovine host shift. Applied Environmental Microbiology, 2011, 77(7): 5908-5915.

Sánchez-Gamboa C., Hicks-Pérez L., Gutiérrez-Méndez N., Heredia N., García S., Nevárez-Moorillón GV. Microbiological changes during ripening of Chihuahua cheese manufactured with raw milk and its seasonal variations. Foods, 2018, 7(9): 7090153.

Scallan E., Hoekstra R.M., Angulo F.J., Tauxe R.V., Widdowson M.A., Roy S.L., Jones J.L., Griffin P.M. Foodborne illness acquired in the United States-major pathogens. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2011, 17(1): 7-15.

Silbernagel M.K., Carver N.Ch., Jechorek P.R., Johnson L.R. Evaluation of VIDAS Listeria monocytogenes II (LMO2) immunoassay method for the detection of Listeria monocytogenes in foods: collaborative study. Journal of AOAC International, 2004, 87(5): 1123-1132.

Stephan R., Schumacher S., Corti S., Krause G., Danuser J., Beutin L. Prevalence and characteristics of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli in Swiss raw milk cheeses collected at producer level. Journal of Dairy Science, 2008, 91(7): 2561-2565.

Ueda Sh., Kuwabara Y. Evaluation of an enzyme-linked fluorescent assay for the detection of Listeria monocytogenes from food. Biocontrol Science, 2010, 15(3): 91-95.

Verraes C., Vlaemynck G., Van Weyenberg S., De Zutter L., Daube G., Sindic M., Uyttendaele M., Herman L. A review of the microbiological hazards of dairy products made from raw milk. International Dairy Journal, 2015, 50(11): 32-44.

Zago M., Bonvini B., Platero A.M.M., Mucchetti G., Carminati D., Giraffa G. Characterisation of Escherichia coli isolated from raw milk cheeses. Annals of Microbiology, 2007, 57(1): 49-54.

How to Cite
STUDENICA, Artan; MÄRTLBAUER, Erwin; MULLIQI-OSMANI, Gjyle. The prevalence of bacterial contaminants in artisanal cheese sold in informal markets. The case of Kosovo. Food Science and Applied Biotechnology, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 1, p. 77-86, mar. 2022. ISSN 2603-3380. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 18 may 2024. doi: