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Journal of Applied Life Sciences International, 2394-1103,Vol.: 7, Issue.: 1


Bacteriological Quality Evaluation and Safety of Randomly Selected Ready-to-Eat Foods Sold in Port Harcourt City, Nigeria


Francis Sopuruchukwu Ire1* and Vivian Tamunonengiyeoforiye Imuh1

1Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, University of Port Harcourt, P.M.B. 5323, Choba, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Article Information
(1) Purnachandra Nagaraju Ganji, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine, USA.
(1) Abdelsalam Tidjani, University of N’Djamena-Chad, Chad.
(2) Eduardo da Silva Martins, Minas Gerais State University, Brazil.
(3) Fakruddin, Kumamoto University, Japan.
(4) Anonymous, Universidad nacional de San Luis, San Luis, Argentina.
(5) Anonymous, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/15680


Ready-to-eat (RTE) foods are composite foods sold to consumers for consumption which do not require significant further processing except re-heating or completion of cooking process. These foods may constitute likely potential hazard to human health due to non compliance with food safety regulations by food handlers. This study was aimed at evaluating the bacteriological quality of ready-to-eat foods sold by selected food vendors in Port Harcourt city. Bacteriological analyses were conducted on 15 samples which included jollof rice, okro soup, egusi soup, jollof beans and porridge yam. Assessment of the possible bacteria in the food samples were separately performed using pour plate technique on various media for isolation and enumeration of the bacteria population in the samples. Bacteria isolates were identified based on colonial morphology, microscopy and biochemical tests. The standard plate counts obtained were compared to the bacteriological guidelines and the specifications by International Commission for Microbiological Specification for Foods (ICMSF). Data were analysed using the one way ANOVA and post-hoc Scheffe test. Bacterial growth was present in all the food types and bacterial counts differed remarkably among the various food samples investigated in the study. The mean total aerobic plate count ranged from 4.4×107 cfu/g to 8.2×107 cfu/g in all the food samples. The result indicated high levels of mean total aerobic count in Jollof beans (8.2×107 cfu/g), followed by jollof rice (6.6×107 cfu/g) while porridge yam had the lowest count (4.4×107 cfu/g). There is significant difference (p≤0.05) between the bacterial loads in the food samples investigated. The bacterial isolates detected in the food samples were Staphylococcus aureus (100%), Escherichia coli (100%), Salmonella sp (73.3%) and Vibrio sp (6.67%). The results revealed that the bacteriological parameters analyzed exceeded recommended limits and this level of contamination of the RTE foods were not of acceptable quality and safety. The consumption of these foods could portend a risk of foodborne diseases and other health challenges. Therefore, this result is intended to draw the attention of relevant authorities to ensure that adequate hygienic standards and regular monitoring of the quality of RTE foods are improved and practiced to avoid possible foodborne infections.

Keywords :

RTE foods; food contamination; foodborne pathogens; food borne infections.

Full Article - PDF    Page 1-10

DOI : 10.9734/JALSI/2016/27939

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