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E. coli, mold and antibiotics: what was found in Russian sour cream and how to choose a safe one

Date: May 31, 2023 Time: 16:08:10

It is not always the manufacturer to blame for low-quality sour cream on the shelves; often the conditions for the transportation of the product can be violated.

Photo: Oleg ZOLOTO

Roskachestvo completed an all-Russian study on the quality of 20% sour cream. It is this version of this product that is the most popular on our market. We checked 87 samples from different manufacturers purchased at a wide variety of retail outlets, up to unmarked “homemade sour cream” from the Moskvoretsky market. The results are like this.

1. 7 stamps out of 87 (8%) were recognized as forged.

They contain vegetable fat. Such a product cannot be called sour cream, it is a deception for the consumer. Interestingly, both samples of sour cream from the markets, where we usually expect to see more natural products, turned out to be “with a palm tree.” At an impressive price of 70 rubles per 100 g. Moreover, in one of the samples, that “home sour cream” without any labels, the examination found almost nothing … milk fat (less than 1% milk fat, the product was next to sour cream). The names of two more “non-sour creams” used words that evoke associations with farm and village products: “Annushkina Farm”, “New Village”.

2. The claims are worse for 19 brands (22%) in terms of microbiology. These are potentially dangerous products.

In 5 sour creams, E. coli was found, in 10 – excess of the norms for yeast content, in 3 – both E. coli and yeast. And Vita sour cream from the Stavropol Territory was especially distinguished – they found E. coli, yeast and mold (as well as vegetable fats, so this is a fake).

A little clarification for those who are now going to the store and are about to faint. The researchers found no pathogenic microorganisms such as salmonella or Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in today’s sour cream, which are sure to send you to a hospital bed. But it is not safe to ingest a product with E. coli, let alone give it to sick people and children.

According to the head of the Roskachestvo testing department, Lilia Kotelnikova, E. coli and exceeding the standards for yeast may indicate a violation of production technology or sanitary standards. But the manufacturer is not always to blame: the conditions for the transportation of the product could also be violated. Or its storage and sale in the commercial network.

3. And finally, traces of antibiotics were found in one of the samples of “organic” sour cream. In an organic product, they definitely shouldn’t be.

In 2018, Roskachestvo conducted a similar study on sour cream. Then vegetable fats were found in only two products, and E. coli was not found anywhere. The current results are worse. This despite the fact that since 2021 the labeling of dairy products has been introduced intensively, as we were assured, including to combat counterfeiting.

Only one of nearly 90 “organic” sour cream samples tested contained traces of antibiotics.

Photo: Julia PYKHALOVA

Experts shrug: if sour cream is made at an official factory, and not in the basement and mainly from milk, it is impossible to trace whether palm oil is added to it by marking. And certainly the marking will not help to check whether sour cream is sold under the right temperature conditions.

-But the Rospotrebnadzor checks are practically not carried out now, so as not to do “nightmare” business. Except in cases where something really happened and someone was poisoned, says Dmitry Yanin, chairman of the board of directors of the Confederation of Consumer Societies (ConfOP). – It is quite expected that the products on the market turn out to be counterfeit. This is the most convenient place to sell such “non-sour cream”. Confidence in the fact that “real people” products exist is still alive. Moreover, only on the market you can sell sour cream even without indicating the manufacturer on the label (as in the case of “home sour cream” “noted” in the Roskachestvo studio – Ed.). I would recommend that consumers, for their own safety, purchase products from known and trusted manufacturers. For those who get on a Roskachestvo “black list”, which the media will immediately replicate, means heavy losses.

By the way, Roskachestvo really had no complaints about sour cream from well-known brands such as Prostokvashino, Vkusnoteevo, Domik v derevne, VkusVill, etc. At the same time, there are still more “good” sour cream on the market. Of the 87 brands of this product, 38 experts gave the highest score based on the test results. This means that the products not only meet the requirements of the law, but can also qualify for the Quality Mark. There are higher requirements for such products; for example, they must be completely free of traces of antibiotics.

Here are the sour creams: “Agrocomplex Vyselkovsky”, “Altai Burenka”, “Granny Products”, “White Castle”, “Vemol”, “VkusVill”, “Vkusnoteevo”, “Harmony of the Day”, “House in the Village ” “, “Green Coast” ”, “Green Meadow”, “Yermill”, “Korenovka Cow”, “Kungurskaya”, “Swan Milk”, “Summer Meadow”, “Favorite Milk”, “MolkoM”, “ Dairy Culture” , “Milk Spring”, “Our Cow”, “Nytvenskaya”, “From Krasulya”, “Special Collection”, “Piskarevskaya”, “Prinevskoye”, “Prostokvashino”, “Scooter”, “Northern Valley”, ” Green Village”, “Snowball”, ” EcoVakino, Ekomilk, EkoNiva, Metro Chef, Spar, Minsk Marka (Belarus), Sarafanovo (Belarus).

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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