Bacteriological profile of selected fish species and water sample from Otuocha River Anambra State
Attempt to ensure fish food security is a continuous process and food safety is a global concern for consumers and food industry. Fish is an important source of healthy and cheap source of animal protein that among its numerous benefit fish is widely acceptable, across socio-economic, age and religious barrier. However, supply of contaminated free fish is desirable to ensure safe consumption and a healthy consumer public`. The objective of the study is to provide baseline information on the microbial quality of Otuocha river, hence establish the microbial quality of fish caught in Otuocha river. Five fish species (Aruis gigas, Bagrus bayad, Schilbe mystus, Chrysichthys nigroditatus and Protopterus annectens) and water sample were taken from Otuocha fish landing site and river respectively and transported to laboratory. The fish samples were cleaned with sterile distilled water and 1 g of skin, gills, intestine cut aseptically and labelled along with water sample before microbial analysis following standard method. The result obtained in water and fish samples showed high microbial load in Otuocha river and was attributed to anthropogenic sources. Nine different bacteria were isolated in fish samples while seven were isolated in water sample. The study concluded that Otuocha river has high microbial load, hence recommend that fish from Otuocha river should be properly cooked/smoked before consumption and sanitary standard of Otuocha river and its environs be improved while public enlightenment on waste disposal be undertaken.
Key words: Microbial load, fish, water, Otuocha River