Bacterial contamination of street vending food in Kumasi, Ghana
Street vending foods are readily available sources of meals for many people but the biological safe-ty of such food is always in doubt. The aim of this study is to ascertain bacterial isolate and deter-mine total counts of bacterial species responsible for the contamination of the street vending food in Kumasi so as to determine the microbiological safety of such a food. This prospective study was conducted among street vending food at four bus terminals in Kumasi. From November, 2008 to February, 2009, 60 food samples comprising ice-kenkey (15), cocoa drink (15), fufu (5), ready-to-eat red pepper (normally eaten with kenkey) (5), salad (10) and macaroni (10) were purchased and ana-lyzed. The food samples were purchased and transported to the laboratory in sterile plastic bags and analyzed for bacterial contamination. Serial dilution of each food was prepared in buffered peptone water and inoculated onto plate count agar (PCA), MacConkey and blood agar plates. Growths on PCA were counted; those on other agar plates were identified by their colonial mor-phology, Gram stain, biochemical and sugar fermentation methods. The mean bacterial counts in these foods expressed to log10 CFU/ml were: fufu 6.36±0.47, cocoa drink 6.16±0.5, red pepper 5.92±0.64, ice-kenkey 5.58 ±0.52, macaroni 5.58±0.97 and salad 5.13±0.77. Most of these foods con-tained higher than acceptable contamination level of <5.0 log10 CFU/ml. The isolates obtained were Coagulate negative staphylococci (23.7%), Bacillus species (21.5%), Klebsiella pneumoniae (18%), Aeromonas pneumophila (17.7%), Enterobacter cloacae (6.7%), Staphylococcus aureus (3.7%), Escherichia coli (2.2%) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (2.2%). Most ready-to-eat foods in Kumasi were contaminated with enteric bacteria and other potential food poisoning organisms with bacterial counts higher than the acceptable levels. Food vendors therefore need education on food hygiene.
Journal of Medical and Biomedical Sciences (2012) 1(1), 1-8
Keywords: Ready-to-eat foods, Bacterial contamination, Food poisoning