Microbiological Quality of Ready-To-Eat Products and Potential Risks for Consumers in Latvia

Elīna Ciekure (Coresponding Author), Inese Siksna, Olga Valciņa, Ludmila Vīksna, Angelika Krūmiņa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
209 Downloads (Pure)


Ready-to-eat (RTE) foods are challenging for food business operators as they need to remain qualitative and safe for consumers. However, consumers tend to choose them more and more often because of fast and easy handling. The highest risk from RTE foods is microbiological contamination, particularly for vulnerable groups like children, elderly, and pregnant women. The aim of the research was to assess the microbiological quality of RTE meat and fish products to highlight possible risks for consumers. A total of 15 984 analyses performed on RTE meat and fish products were included in this study. It was found that RTE meat and fish product samples representative of the market in Latvia in the period 2012-2015 had high microbiological quality and only in rare cases was contamination with hygiene indicatororganisms (coliforms and Escherichia coli) and pathogens (Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, and sulphite-reducing clostridia) detected. However, it is important to pay attention to customer habits of cooking and preparing RTE foods as well-thermal processing for products intended to be used cooked, use before expiration date and adequate storage rules for products, as these have important regarding microbiological risks for health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Section B: Natural, Exact, and Applied Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • consumption
  • microbiological quality
  • public health
  • ready-to-eat food

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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