Distribution of Enterobacteria in Ready-to-Eat Food in Cafeterias and Retail Food Outlets in Benin City: Public Health Implications
Background: The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence and antibiotic susceptibility profile of enterobacteria isolated from ready-to-eat foods within Benin metropolis, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a descriptive study of 210 ready-to-eat food samples comprising fried rice, jollof rice, moi-moi, salad, oil beans, non-oil beans, and African salad obtained from roadside food vendors between January and June 2017. Isolation and identification of enterobacteria isolates were carried out using standard bacteriological and molecular methods. Antibiotic susceptibility profile was carried out using the disc diffusion method.
Results: The mean mesophilic bacterial count expressed in log10 CFU/g from the ready-to-eat foods ranged from oil beans (4.3±0.52) to African salad (7.2±1.38). Escherichia coli count ranged between oil beans (1.8±0.16) and African salad (4.1±0.10). Salmonella species count ranged from non-oil beans (2.3±0.17) to African salad (5.2±0.09). Significant differences were observed from the population count of the ready-to-eat foods (p < 0.05). Bacterial isolates recovered from the ready-to-eat foods include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella oxytoca. The highest occurrence of the bacterial isolates was Escherichia coli 23(41.07%) while the least was Citrobacter freundii 3(5.36%) and Enterobacter cloacae 3(5.36%). The antimicrobial susceptibility profile of the bacterial isolates revealed that all bacterial isolates were 100% resistant to cefepime, ceftazidime, cefuroxime, ertapenem, and meropenem; with considerable sensitivity to kanamycin and gentamycin.
Conclusion: The occurrence of these bacterial isolates in the foods constitutes public health risk to consumers as these pathogens have been associated with foodborne infections.
Keywords: Antibiotic-resistant; Enterobacteria; Foodborne pathogens; Microbial quality; Public health; Street foods