MICROBIOLOGY AND FOOD HYGIENE IN PUBLIC FOOD SERVICES

M O Edema, A M Omemu

Abstract


A microbiological survey of ready-to-eat food samples using validated methods was performed on 150 samples
from 30 public food premises. The determinants investigated were aerobic and anaerobic colony counts, total
Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus spp. and Clostridium spp.,
Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. Results indicated that using current guidelines for ready-to-eat
foods, only 13% of samples were satisfactory, 15.6% were acceptable and 71.4% were of unsatisfactory
quality. Unsatisfactory results were due to the presence of high aerobic colony counts, E. coli, total
Enterobacteriaceae and S. aureus. There were significant correlations between bacteriological quality and
temperature of storage, food hygiene training and waste product management policies. This study on the
microbiology of ready-to-eat foods suggests that there is need to improve on hygienic practises in public
food service outlets in order to obtain relatively safe products for consumption.

Keywords


food hygiene, HACCP, Microbiologiological quality, Public food, viable counts

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