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A survey of the microbiological quality of Sharri, a hard mountain cheese from Kosovo



The microbiological quality of a hard mountain unpasteurised sheep cheese from three randomly selected manufacturing locations in Kosovo was investigated. Forty-eight samples of row milk, coagulum, 8–10 days ripening cheese and of ready to eat cheese (45-days in brine) were tested. Seventy-five per cent of raw milk samples failed to comply with EU regulation 853/2004. All of coagulum and ripened cheese failed to comply with EU regulation 2073/2005 on process hygiene criteria. Despite the high incidence of coagulase-positive staphylococci even in the final product [>105 colony-forming units (cfu)/g], Staphylococcal enterotoxin was detected in none of the samples and no samples were positive for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enteritidis.