Camel milk is one of the most important sources of nutrition and a cure for the population in many arid regions. Raw camel milk from the healthy lactating camel is nearly sterile at secretion, contamination of milk can take place at any stage of milk production and processing; therefore, it is may lose its quality and safety standards. The aim of this study to evaluate the microbial quality of 100 raw dromedary camel milk samples obtained from markets and farms in Matrouh Governate, Egypt; over 4 months (from October 2019 to January 2020). The mean pH values of raw dromedary camel milk samples collected from markets and farms were 6.41±0.13 and 6.42±0.15, respectively. Only 7 (14%) and 2 (4%) of the examined samples did not comply with DK standards. The respective mean count (log10 CFU/ml) of aerobic bacterial, psychrotrophic bacterial, Staphylococcus aureus, Coliforms, Enterococci and yeast were 7.61 ± 0.83; 7.72 ± 0.70; 4.50 ± 1.69; 7.44 ± 0.51; 5.27 ± 0.45 and 5.45 ± 0.68 in market milk samples while in farm milk were 5.10 ± 1.67; 5.04 ± 1.19; 2.70 ± 1.46; 4.75 ± 0.92; 3.11 ± 1.28 and 3.61 ± 0.84. Most of the examined raw camel market milk was regarded as grade III (< 6.30 log10 CFU/ ml) according to DK standards for the aerobic bacterial count (68%) and Coliforms count (54%). E. coli (24%) and Enterobacter aerogenes (18%) were the most predominant Coliforms isolated from examined samples. These germs can limit the keeping quality and safety of raw camel milk. There is a requisite to improve the hygienic state and providing adequate sanitary procedures from the point of production until milk consumption.
Key words: : pH value, Coliforms, aerobic bacteria, Quality, Dromedary camel milk, Matrouh Governorate