Bacteriological Quality And Public Health Implications Of Fermented Cassava (Garri) Sold In Okwor And Nkalagu Markets In Ebonyi State, Nigeria.
Orji, J.O., Nnachi, A.U., Ojiochie, C.O., Egwuatu, C.C., Efunshile, A.M., Ezejiofor, O.I., Ezeama, C.O., Nwaneli, C.U., Mbachu, I.
Bacteria, Cassava, Garri, pH, Nigeria.
Food security has been a major challenge to the world populace over the last few centuries because of the alarming concern of disease outbreak caused by consumption of contaminated food and food products. This study determined the bacteriological quality of fermented cassava (garri) sold in Okwor and Nkalagu markets in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. A total of sixteen (16) samples (8 white and 8 yellow) were purchased from the two markets and processed using standard procedures. The results revealed a high microbial burden in the garri samples examined ranging from 6.6 x 106 to 1.07 x 107 Aerobic Plate Counts (APC). The pH values of the garri samples purchased from both markets ranged from 5.47 to 6.61. Out of the sixteen samples, a total of 32 bacterial isolates were obtained, out of which 14(43.8%) were Staphylococcus aureus, 6(18.8%) Escherichia coli, 5(15.6%) Bacillus cereus, 4(12.5%) Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 2(6.2%) Streptococcus species, while the least occurring isolate was Yersinia species with recovery rate of 3.1%. Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Streptococcus species were isolated from Okwor market while Yersinia species, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were isolated from Nkalagu market. The study reveals unacceptable bioload in garri from both markets. The heavy bacterial contamination and vast array of bacteria isolated from the garri sold in both markets portend alarming danger posed by consumption of garri sold in these markets. Therefore renewed vigilance on the efficacies of food processing conditions, handling techniques and handlers technical knowhow, personal hygiene practices and safety of finished products are hereby recommended.
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