Abstract: This study assessed the microbiological quality of various ready-to-eat foods sold in Alice, South Africa. Microbiological analysis was conducted on 252 samples which included vegetables, potatoes, rice, pies, beef and chicken stew. The isolates were identified using biochemical tests and the API 20E, API 20NE and API Listeria kits; results were analyzed using the one-way-ANOVA test. Bacterial growth was present in all the food types tested; high levels of total aerobic count were observed in vegetables, 6.8 ± 0.07 followed by rice, 6.7 ± 1.7 while pies had the lowest count (2.58 ± 0.24). Organisms isolated included: Listeria spp. (22%), Enterobacter spp. (18%), Aeromonas hydrophila (12%), Klebsiella oxytoca (8%), Proteus mirabilis (6.3%), Staphylococcus aureus (3.2%) and Pseudomonas luteola (2.4%). Interestingly, Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli were not isolated in any of the samples. There was a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) in the prevalence of foodborne pathogens from hygienic and unhygienic cafeterias. The results indicated that most of the ready-to-eat food samples examined in this study did not meet bacteriological quality standards, therefore posing potential risks to consumers. This should draw the attention of the relevant authorities to ensure that hygienic standards are improved to curtain foodborne infections.
Keywords: street foods; microbial quality; foodborne pathogens; bacterial count; South Africa
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Nyenje, M.E.; Odjadjare, C.E.; Tanih, N.F.; Green, E.; Ndip, R.N. Foodborne Pathogens Recovered from Ready-to-Eat Foods from Roadside Cafeterias and Retail Outlets in Alice, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: Public Health Implications. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 2608-2619.
Nyenje ME, Odjadjare CE, Tanih NF, Green E, Ndip RN. Foodborne Pathogens Recovered from Ready-to-Eat Foods from Roadside Cafeterias and Retail Outlets in Alice, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: Public Health Implications. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2012; 9(8):2608-2619.
Nyenje, Mirriam E.; Odjadjare, Collins E.; Tanih, Nicoline F.; Green, Ezekiel; Ndip, Roland N. 2012. "Foodborne Pathogens Recovered from Ready-to-Eat Foods from Roadside Cafeterias and Retail Outlets in Alice, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa: Public Health Implications." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 9, no. 8: 2608-2619.