Bacteriological study of food in the Pakistan’s peri-urban areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad
In order to ascertain the food quality for human consumption the bacteriological analysis was carried out in a prospective study in collaboration with National Institute of Health, Islamabad. The surveillance work was conducted during the months of July to August peak summer season to evaluate the objective parameters for assessment of the bacteriological and hygienic status of food being consumed in the peri-urban area of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Out of a total of 91 samples, the various bacterial contaminants such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, fungal species were isolated and identified using standard cultural and biochemical methods. It was observed that in total food samples, 25.5% were positive for E. coli, 16.6% for S. aureus and 11.1% for Salmonella species. This study highlighted the poor hygienic conditions for the food quality standards in the area of investigation. It was concluded that the food related endemic health concerns can be checked by taking appropriate preventive measures to forestall the outbreaks of gastroenteritis and food poisoning in the future as a serious health problem.
Keywords: Faecal coliforms, total viable count, total plate count.