Food Hygiene

Contamination of weaning foods and transmission of E. coli in causation of infantile diarrhea in low income group in Chandigarh

Indian Pediatr. 1995 May;32(5):539-42.

Contamination of weaning foods and transmission of E. coli in causation of infantile diarrhea in low income group in Chandigarh.

Ghuliani AKaul M.

Government Home Science College, Chandigarh

Samples of weaning foods and other sources of contamination, such as water, mother’s nails, utensils and swab samples of feeding bottle nipple, mother’s teats and child’s hands were collected from a total of 100 houses of Low Income Group (LIG) in Chandigarh. A high incidence of E. coli isolation (72.3%) was noticed amongst the collected samples. Seventy nine per cent of storage containers of water exhibited the presence of E. coli. Eighty per cent of the children had diarrhea even when exclusively breastfed. Sixty six per cent children were weaned within 3-6 months; the ratio increasing with increase in the educational qualification of the mother. Eighty out of the total 100 households which had a history of infantile diarrhea exhibited 80.9% E. coli isolation.

PIP: In Chandigarh, India, samples of weaning food, water, utensils, and mother’s nails and swab samples from the bottle nipple, mother’s teats, and infant’s hands were collected from randomly selected houses where the household income was less than Rs. 2000/month. Researchers aimed to determine sources of contamination of child’s weaning food and the various modes of transmission of Escherichia coli into the infant’s body and these modes’ roles in causing infantile diarrhea. 99% of the infants were breast fed at birth; 68% at age 1. 66% of the infants were introduced to weaning foods at age 3-6 months, 25% at age 6-12 months, and 2% at age 12-18 months. E. coli was isolated in 72.4% of all samples collected. It was isolated in 79% of containers used to store drinking water. The most common method of feeding was finger feeding (67%). E. coli was isolated from 80.9% of the households where the infants had a history of diarrhea (p .05). It was also isolated in 38.5% of households where the infants had no history of diarrhea. Only 2 of the 100 households sampled had neither history of infantile diarrhea nor E. coli isolation. E. coli was isolated from 91.5% of the mother’s teats. The E. coli isolation rate for weaning food, water, mother’s nails, utensils, feeding bottle, and child’s hands was 56%, 79%, 79%, 66%, 71.8%, and 88.6%, respectively. 80% of infants had diarrhea even during exclusive breast feeding. 44% of mothers did not reheat weaning foods before serving those food to their baby if the foods had already been cooked. Only 10% boiled it for 5-7 minutes before feeding it to the infant. These findings show several opportunities for cross-contamination from one source to the other, indicative of poor personal hygiene. They also suggest that knowledge about hygiene and sanitation are low among low income mothers.

PMID: 8613311 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]




Written by geraldmoy

February 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm