Food Hygiene

Bacteriological quality of weaning food and drinking water given to children of market women in Nigeria: implications for control of diarrhoea.

J Health Popul Nutr. 2000 Dec;18(3):157-62.

Bacteriological quality of weaning food and drinking water given to children of market women in Nigeria: implications for control of diarrhoea.

Iroegbu CUEne-Obong HNUwaegbute ACAmazigo UV.

Department of Microbiology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. MISUNN@aol.com

Bacteriological quality of weaning food and drinking water given to 2 groups of children aged < or = years was evaluated by estimating bacterial cell count. One group consisted of those taken to market and the other of those left at home in the care of older siblings or house-helps. Bacterial counts (geometric mean) ranged from 5.02 +/- 1.82 to 8.70 +/- 1.0 log10 cfu per g or mL of food, and from 1.15 +/- 1.67 to 6.53 +/- 0.81 log10 cfu per g or 100 mL of water. Analysis of variance showed no significant difference in counts between types of food and between meals (breakfast and lunch). Bacterial contamination increased significantly with storage time, and was, in all circumstances except the water samples, significantly higher in foods given to children left at home. Reheated leftover foods also had significantly higher bacterial load than the freshly-cooked food. Coliform count varied significantly with source of drinking water. Poor hygiene standard (inferred from bacterial contamination) was generally observed among mothers weaning < or = 2-year-old children, while they were engaged in trading activities in the market, thus exposing their children to high risk of diarrhoea. Hygiene was significantly poorer in weaning of children left at home in the care of older siblings or house-helps. This implies that, in spite of their trading activities in the market, mothers still take better care of their babies than the older siblings or house-helps who may be inexperienced. These mothers may need education on childcare and food hygiene to suit to their trading activities, for example, during their monthly meetings. There is also a need to establish ORT (oral rehydration therapy) corners in the markets as part of the municipal services. This can be used not only for efficient and quick management of diarrhoea in the market but also for reinforcing hygiene education.

 

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Written by geraldmoy

February 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm