Bacillus cereus Contamination in Selected Home-based Food Products Sold Throughout Malaysia


  • Muhammad Amirun Che Hassan Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
  • Muhammad Nur Shazwan Jamzuri Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
  • Fisal Ahmad Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
  • Amir Izzwan Zamri Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia
  • Tuan Zainazor Tuan Chilek Faculty of Fisheries and Food Science, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030 Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, Malaysia



Home-based food, anaerobic bacteria, hermetically sealed packaging, online shopping platform, Bacillus cereus


Home-based food was a new trend in food business industry where the sellers’ or the owners’ fully prepared and handled food for sale from their home. This online food business had start blooming since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic due to various factors. Almost every Malaysian can produce and sell foods from their home, even without proper training and knowledge regarding food safety. These products were usually sold on online shopping platform or social media as marketing and ordering tools. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the status of Bacillus cereus that present in the selected home-based food products. Sambal belacan and sambal bilis, both packed in retort pouch and glass jar were chosen as representative samples. A total of 40 samples was purchased through online shopping platform, Shopee, with a pre-determined and appropriate screening. The method was set to simulate the real-life situation of how the home-based food purchasing were made by most peoples. The purchased samples were subjected to the enumeration of Bacillus cereus and total plate count (TPC). From the analysis, it was found that the B. cereus count of 8 out of 40 samples had exceeded the acceptable limit set by the Guidelines for Assessing the Microbiological Safety of Ready-to-Eat Foods, 2009, which is >1x104 CFU/g. This study indicated that the home-based food products still possess a threat regarding the presence of pathogenic anaerobic bacteria. More data and studies were still needed to validate the food safety status of home-based food products in the market.


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