In this study, the microbial quality and safety of the kareish and domiati cheese were studied. A total of 200 cheese samples (100 kareish cheese and 100 domiati cheese) was collected randomly from different supermarkets and retailer shops in Cairo and Giza governorates. Samples were analyzed for total colony count (TCC), total coliforms, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and yeast and mold counts, as well as for the pathogens E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp. Both kareish and domiati cheese samples were found to be highly contaminated, having bacterial load exceeding the acceptable limit. The microbiological quality of both cheeses was judged as poor. Pathogenic bacteria (E. coli, B. cereus and S. aureus) were detected in some of the cheese samples. Non of the cheese samples taken contained detectable levels of Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7. A high microbial load of the cheese samples may present a public health hazard to the consumers and emphasizes the need for improved hygienic standard
Key words: kareish cheese ,domiati cheese, Total colony count, total coliforms, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus , yeast and mold counts and E. coli O157:H7.