INVESTIGATION OF MICROBIOLOGICAL QUALITY OF SELECTED STREET VENDED FOODS SOLD IN UYO METROPOLIS, AKWA IBOM STATE, NIGERIA
Street vended food play an important role in developing societies as they support livelihood of millions of people in the society. This study evaluated the microbial quality of selected street-vended foods in Uyo Metropolis, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Popular food samples were collected from five different locations with intensive vending activities and analyzed for total bacterial count (TBC), total Salmonella (TSC), E. coli and Vibrio cholera counts (VCC). Results indicated that TBC ranged
... that TBC ranged from 1.33 x 105 + 0.03 cfu/g to 6.00 x 105 + 0.03 cfu/g while TSC ranged from 1.00 x 103 + 0.02 cfu/g to 3.00 x 104 + 0.04 cfu/g. Total E.coli count ranged from 1.00 x 101 + 0.00 cfu/g to 2.09 x 103 + 0.01 cfu/g which was above WHO standard of 0 cfu/g. VCC was detected in 7 food samples with the highest count being 7.20 x 102 + 0.02 cfu/g. There were significant differences (P<0.05) in microbial counts among food samples and vending locations. Bacterial species isolated from the food samples include: Aerococcus viridans, Cornynebacterium uberis, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella species, Lactobacillus salivarius, Micrococcus luteus, Micrococcus varians, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas pyogenes, Pseudomonas pyogenia, Salmonella paratyphi, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus albus, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Vibrio cholera. Data obtained from the questionnaires showed poor handling and preparation of food by vendors, hence the need to train and educate vendors on food hygiene. Application of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) is necessary to improve the safety of street foods and consequently safety of consumers.