Microbiological and proximate analyses of unripened cheese ‘Wara’ sold in Ilorin environs, Kwara state Nigeria.
Forty five (n=45) samples of ready-to-eat Soft white cheese wara were obtained from fifteen different location in and around Ilorin, Nigeria. The samples were evaluated for microbiological parameters as well as proximate composition. The pH ranged from 5.42 to 6.45 with 5.97 as average. The lowest Total Viable count(TVC) was 6.2 Log cfu/g while the highest was 9.6 Log cfu/g. Coliform count(TCC) range from 3.5 Log MPN/ml to 5.6 Log MPN/ml while the fungi count was from 3.1 Log cfu/g to 6.7 Log cfu/g. The protein content ranged from 12.45 to 17.56. There are statistical significant differences(p<0.05) in the datas obtained in this study. An evident contamination by Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, Enterobacter spp. and Bacillus cereus were detected in all the cheese samples. Listeria monocytogene was however not detected. The presence of these pathogens may be attributed to poor hygiene of the handlers and manufacturing practices. A careful appraisal of these procedures and the use of pasteurized milk is suggested to reduce the exposure of consumers to health hazard.
Key words: Raw milk, Pathogens, Coliforms, Cheese, food borne pathogens, Proximate composition.