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Scientific Opinion on the Appearance of Microorganisms in Confectionary Cakes in Croatia

Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food

Confectionery cakes are products obtained by mixing, shaping, baking, or other suitable processing procedures of two or more ingredients, giving the characteristic sensory properties of the product. They can be filled or topped with fruit, chocolate and other creams or toppings. The chemical composition and high content of water make the confectionery cakes suitable for growth and multiplication of various microorganisms. Since contamination can occur at all stages of the production process, conducting good hygiene practices is necessary to obtain a product safe for consumption.
The aim of this study was to provide insight into the contamination of confectionery cakes in the Republic of Croatia by potentially pathogenic microorganisms and microorganisms as indicators of hygienic production. The cakes were sampled in 2017. and analysed according to the microbiological criteria prescribed by Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 of 15 November 2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs and as recommended by the Guideline of Microbiological Criteria (Ministry of Agriculture, 2011). As a result of the study no pathogenic bacteria whose presence could have an adverse health effects, were identified in confectionery cakes and there was no need to make a risk characterization for the results obtained.
Continuation of the research was focused on a more detailed study of enterobacterial species. In 2018, sampling of cakes was repeated in the area of the City of Zagreb and the following types of enterobacteria were identified: Enterobacter kobei, Enterobacter cloacae, Pantoea agglomerans, Serratia liquefaciens, Enterobacter asburiae, Klebsiella oxytoca, Buttiauxelinia galaia Cedecea neteri. Some of them were reported as a cause of disease, but under circumstances other than possible transmission by confectionery cakes or food in general, and these bacteria have been described as potentially pathogenic but the risk was not shown through adverse health effects. It was described as a risk of possible exposure to these bacteria in the case of consumption of confectionery cakes.
No pathogenic microorganisms for which testing was prescribed in accordance with the requirements of Regulation 2073/2005 were present in any sample of confectionery cakes.

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