The purpose of this study was to analyze the microbiological status of selected seasonings and to assess how their environments affect the survival of microorganisms during 6-month storage. Three-hundred and eighty samples of commercially available seasonings (powdered pepper, powdered garlic, powdered onion, coriander, dried parsley, powdered paprika, powdered tomatoes, turmeric, basil and nutmeg) were subjected to a study. The seasonings were stored at 20ºC for 6 months. Their microbiological parameters (total plate count, the counts of coliforms and moulds and yeasts, the presence of Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and coagulase-positive staphylococci) were determined prior the storage and after consecutive 2-month intervals. The initial total plate count of material studied ranged from 1.30 to 3.91 log CFU x g-1. Higher contamination was characteristic for the seasonings which have undergone higher number of technological processes during production. Moreover, coliforms were isolated more frequently from such a material. The following groups were distinguished among the seasonings tested on the basis of storagerelated changes: 1) with unaltered microbial levels (pepper, nutmeg, basil), 2) with decreased counts (garlic, onion, coriander, parsley, paprika, turmeric), and 3) with increased contamination (tomato). Concluding, the microbiological status of seasonings studied, although good, was evidently assortment-specific. Moreover, the assortment markedly affected the changes of microbial counts occurring with the storage of the material.
seasonings, microbiological contamination, storage