Survey of physicochemical characteristics and microbial contamination in selected food locally vended in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania


Background: Raw milk, raw fruit juice and raw fish are enriched with essential nutrients for human diet but are prone to microbial contamination along the value chain. This cross sectional study was conducted to assess physicochemical characteristics and microbial quality of raw milk, fruit juice and fish from food vendors in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania. The physicochemical assessment of food samples was done by smell, colour, presence of debris, turbidity, consistence, pH and clot on alcohol test. Hygiene of food containers, personnel and the vending environment was also assessed. Qualitative and quantitative microbial assessment of food was done using standard laboratory protocols as described by Tanzania Bureau of Standards and International Systems of Standards. Results: Raw milk sold in Morogoro was of poor quality since was adulterated with water, contained sediments and clotted on alcohol test. Up to 63 % of the milk samples were contaminated with Escherichia coli and 60 % had higher total viable count (TVC) than the recommended values. Raw fruit juice was stored in dirty containers and sold under unhygienic environment. Seventy-three percent of juice samples had TVC beyond the recommendations while E. coli contamination rate was 63.3 %. The raw fish samples had started spoiling as depicted through sensory evaluation. E. coli contamination rate was 55 % and that of Campylobacter jejuni was 0.5 %. The mean TVC of raw fish was 8.1 (Log cfu/g) and 96.2 % of the fish samples had TVC beyond the recommended limits of 5.0 Log cfu/g. Conclusions: The physicochemical characteristics of food vended in Morogoro Municipality were of poor quality. The food had high bacterial contaminations. This situation poses health risks to the public and losses to food vendors due to spoilage. Stakeholders in food value chain should be educated on safe production and good hygienic practices. Routine quality and safety assessment of locally vended food, inspection of selling premises and regular health checkup of the personnel involved in food vending industry should be instituted.


Biomed central Research notel 2015


Raw milk, Fruit juice, Raw fish, Bacteria, Morogoro