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Background: Food safety problems are particularly becoming an increasingly serious threat to public health in developing countries. This study was conducted to assess microbiological safety of street vended foods from May to November, 2014 in Jigjiga City.
Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to answer questions concerning the current status of food hygiene and sanitation practire of street food vending sites. Interview and observational assessments were used to collect socio-demographic data about street food venders. One hundred thirty-two samples of street foods were aseptically collected from four ‘kebeles’ of Jigjiga City. Both descriptive and analytical statistical methods were applied.
Results: The majority of the street food vendors were women, 120(90.9%), with the average age group of 23-49 years, (42.85%), and 99(66.7%) them were illiterate. The study revealed that 95(72%) of the food samples had pathogenic bacterial contaminations. Three different bacterial species were isolated: E. coli 68(51.5%), S. aureus 85(64.4%) and 26(19.7%) Salmonella species. The highest incidence of S. aureus 23/33(69%) was seen in ‘Sambusa’; the highest incidence of E. coli 24/33(73.5%) was observed in ‘Pasta’, while the highest Salmonella incidence was observed in ‘Ades’.
Conclusion: This study revealed that there is a reasonable gap on food safety knowledge among street food venders. The microbial profile was also higher compared to standards set by the World Health Organization. Due attention should be given by the government to improve knowledge about food safety and the quality standard of street foods sold in the City.
Keywords: Microbiological safety, Street vended foods, Isolation, Jigjiga