Microbial contamination of food products consumed by infants and babies in Korea

S. A. Kim, S. W. Oh, Y. M. Lee, J. Y. Imm, I. G. Hwang, D. H. Kang, M. S. Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Aims: The objectives of this study were to investigate the microbiological safety of various foods intended for consumption by infants and babies. Methods and Results: The incidence of Cronobacter spp. and Enterobacteriaceae from powdered infant formula (PIF, n=75) and baby soy milk (n=10) was examined. Additionally, aerobic plate count, coliforms and the prevalence of foodborne pathogens were investigated in 230 samples from a variety of infant and baby foods, including cereal-based follow-up formulas (FUF), liquid FUF and other infant foods. High APCs were observed in nutrient supplements and cereal-based FUF. Coliforms were found in 6 (2·6%) products, and Cronobacter spp. was isolated in 10 (4·4%) samples, including four PIF and six cereal-based FUF. Bacillus cereus was detected in 48 (20·9%) samples: cereal-based FUF items (23·0%), rice soups (20·6%), honey samples (40·0%), biscuits (40·0%) and liquid FUF (7·4%). Conclusions: New safety criteria, along with hygienic control measures and consumer education strategies, are essential to improve the microbiological safety of infant or baby foods. Significance and Impact of the Study: This study provides comprehensive information about the prevalence and level of contamination of infant and baby food products by Cronobacter spp. and other major foodborne pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-538
Number of pages7
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Bacillus cereus
  • Cronobacter spp.
  • Foodborne pathogens
  • Infant foods
  • Microbial contamination


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