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Handling Practices and Microbiological Status of Food Service Establishments within Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania

J.B. Kussaga
D.P. Nziku


The study assessed handling practices and microbiological status of ready-to-eat food (stiff porridge and rice), contact surfaces, and  personnel hands in 20 food service establishments and 10 street vendors within Morogoro municipality. It used face-to-face interviews  and microbiological sampling of food, contact surfaces and personnel hands in the selected food businesses. The samples were then  analysed for Total Viable Counts (TVC), Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The findings of the study revealed that that personnel  had low education level with limited training on food hygiene. Hygienic practices that are essential for food handling and preparation  such as hairnets, gloves, protective clothing and potable water were not consistently observed. Street vendors operated in informal  settings with unroofed makeshift huts, in contrast to restaurants and cafeterias which operated in relatively proper-designed facilities.  Although preparation methods of ugali and rice involved cooking, both foods had high microbiological contamination level than the  specified standards in raw materials. The contamination levels in foods reflected the levels on tables, plates and personnel hands; which  ranged from 4.4-5.6 Log CFU/cm2 for TVC, 4.7-6.4 Log CFU/cm2 for S. aureus, and 3.6-5.5 Log CFU/cm2 for E. coli. This further indicates  inadequate handling practices, faecal contaminated water or poor hand washing procedures. Therefore, personal hygiene training and  control by legal authorities are needed to ensure quality and safety of ready-to-serve foods 

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print ISSN: 0856-664X