Bacteriological analysis of ready-to-eat foods from Morogoro municipal Market

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Street vendors supply large quantities of food at affordable prices in many places especially in developing countries. Street foods are common sources of bacteriological contamination causing food poisoning, diarrhea, cholera and typhoid fever. This study analyzed the bacteriological quality of ready-to-eat foods vended in Morogoro Municipal Market. A total of 70 samples from different street foods were randomly collected from different vendors and transported in cool boxes to the laboratory for bacteriological analysis. Standard microbiological methods were used for isolation, enumeration and identification of bacteria. Additional information regarding food preparation, storage and handling practices observed by vendors was noted to correlate with the extent of bacterial contamination. Majority (67.1%) of the ready to eat foods were contaminated with bacteria. Vegetable salads and Potato fries showed highest bacterial contamination rates (78.6%). Escherichia coli (49.2%) was the major isolate in all food types. Other bacteria isolated were Bacillus cereus (19.7%), Staphylococcus aureus (14.8%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (14.8%) and Salmonella spp. (1.6%). E. coli was resistant to some antimicrobials (carbenicilin, clindamycin and tetracycline). High levels of bacterial contamination were associated with poor hygiene of vendors, unsafe food handling practices and use of contaminated water in food preparation. Although the presence of the microorganisms is not necessarily a threat to human health, the fact that some microorganisms were resistant to some antibiotics is of concern. Provision of sanitation and hygiene education to vendors and regulations for implementation of good hygienic practices can improve quality of street foods.


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Street foods, bacterial contamination, antimicrobial resistance, E. coli, B. cereus, S. aureus, K. pneumoniae