Bacteria associated with street vended foods: implications to food quality and safety
Street vended foods were analysed for the bacterial load and the presence of pathogenic and/or potentially pathogenic bacteria. The foods were collected randomly from ambulatory and stationary vendors and analysed individually and then categorized as meats, salads and carbohydrates. The microbial analysis indicated that the foods that were served by ambulatory vendors had higher microbial load than those that were served from stationary ones. The salads were also found to contain high microbial load than other food types. The food was also contaminated with coliforms of fecal origin. E. coli was isolated from some food and it occurred in low counts as the highest count was 2.0 log10 CFU/g. The pathogens isolated from the foods were B. cereus, Listeria species, and S. aureus. No Salmonella or Enterococci were recovered from the food. Generally, the microbiology of the street foods was of acceptable quality, with the exception of the salads, and the results better than that of foods reported in other studies. This was despite the fact that most of the vendors operated under seemingly unsanitary conditions.
Keywords: Street foods, safety, aerobic plate count, fecal coliforms, pathogens, ambulatory, stationa