Parasitic contamination of fruits and vegetables in Benin city, Edo state, Nigeria
Aim: The consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables helps in protecting the human body from diseases and also has a positive impact on body-weight regulation and related conditions, including diabetes and hypertension. This study was conducted to determine the parasitic contamination of fruits and vegetables in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A total of 358 fruit samples and 552 vegetable samples were randomly collected from markets and shops in Benin City. Parasitological investigation was conducted using standard procedures.
Results: An overall prevalence of 2.79% and 2.90% of parasitic contamination was observed among fruits and vegetables examined. Seasonal variation significantly affected the prevalence of parasitic contamination in fruits examined. Educational status significantly affected the prevalence of parasitic contamination of fruits and vegetables. Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, hookworm, Strongyloides stercoralis and Enterobius vermiscularis were the parasites recovered from fruits and vegetables. Ascaris lumbricoides in fruits and Ascaris lumbricoides and hookworm in vegetables were the most prevalent parasites observed. Banana and lettuce had the highest prevalence of parasitic contamination in fruits and vegetables.
Conclusion: Proper sanitary habits by all handlers of fruits and vegetables from harvest to consumption are advocated.
Keywords: Parasites, fruits, vegetables, Benin City