Prevalence and pattern of bacteria and intestinal parasites among food handlers in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria
AbstractBackground: In developing countries, biological contaminants largely bacteria and other parasites constitute the major causes of food‑borne diseases often transmitted through food, water, nails, and fingers contaminated with faeces. Accordingly, food‑handlers with poor personal hygiene could be potential sources of infections by these micro‑organisms. Objective: This study was aimed at determining the prevalence and pattern of bacteria and intestinal parasites among food handlers in the Federal Capital Territory. Materials and Methods: The study was a descriptive one in which a multistage sampling technique was employed to select 168 food handlers of various types. Subjects’ stool, urine, and fingernail analyses were carried out and the result scientifically scrutinized. Results: Fingernail bacteria isolates include: E. Coli (1.8%), coagulase‑negative staphylococcus (17.9%), Staphylococcus aureus(7.1%), Klebsiella species (2.4%), Serratia species (1.2%), Citrobacter species (1.2%), and Enterococcus species (1.8%). The subjects’ stool samples tested positive: For A. lumbricoides (14.9%), T. trichuria(1.8%), S. starcolaris (3.0%), E. histolytica (10.7%), G. lambilia (1.8%), S. mansoni (1.2%), and Taenia species (4.8%). Furthermore, 42.3% and 15.5% of the stool specimen tested positive for Salmonella and Shigella species, respectively. Conclusion: Food establishments should screen and treat staff with active illness, and regularly train them on good personal and workplace hygiene practices.
Keywords: Bacteria, federal capital territory, food handlers, intestinal parasites
Nigerian Medical Journal | Vol. 53 | Issue 3 | July-September | 2012