Microbiological quality of some spices and herbs in retail markets

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1982 Sep;44(3):627-30. doi: 10.1128/aem.44.3.627-630.1982.


The microbiological quality of 10 spices or herbs was determined by a national survey at the retail level. Aerobic plate count values for the 10 products ranged from less than 100 to 3.1 X 10(8) per g; mean values of the individual spices or herbs ranged from 1,400 to 820,000 per g. Coliform counts ranged from less than 3 to 1.1 X 10(6) per g; however, mean values were less than 20 per g for all products. Escherichia coli counts ranged from less than 3 to 2,300 per g. Except for celery seed, which had a mean value of 7 per g, all mean values were less than 3 per g. Yeast and mold counts were made for 5 of the 10 products. Mean values were generally low; the highest mean (290 per g) was obtained for cinnamon.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Condiments*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / growth & development
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Fungi / growth & development
  • Magnoliopsida / microbiology*