Food Hygiene

Bacterial contamination of weaning foods and drinking water in rural Bangladesh.

Bacterial contamination of weaning foods and drinking water in rural Bangladesh.
Henry, F. J.; Patwary, Y.; Huttly, S. R. A.; Aziz, K. M. A.; Epidemiology and Infection, 1990, 104, 1, 79-85, 23 ref.

Infants given foods or fluids as a supplement to or part of a breast-feeding programme suffer high morbidity and mortality rates particularly where circumstances are unhygienic. The authors examined the faecal coliform content of several foods likely to be used as a supplement and the water used for food preparation.

Wet foods such as milk and left-over rice were found to be heavily contaminated, with geometric means of 2.5 × 10² coliforms/ml and 7.5 × 10³ coliforms/g respectively. Dry foods such as bread had much lower faecal contamination. Drinking-water had low levels of contamination but both water and wet food contamination was noted to be higher in the rainy season. Multiplication of faecal coliforms was also demonstrated in foods which had a delay of more than 4 h between food preparation and consumption.

The authors discuss the possible protective measures including the hygienic preparation of food, its consumption at 1 sitting, the boiling of water and the reheating of stored food. The authors stress the need to understand social, cultural and economic factors associated with living and working in a particular country if effective measures are to be implemented. [More attention could have been given to the source of faecal contamination, sanitation in the home, and the protection of collected water.]
J. WatkinsADDITIONAL ABSTRACT:The weaning foods and food preparation practices that exposed children 6 to 18 months old to a high risk of diarrhoeal disease through exposure to a contaminated diet were determined. Bacterial contamination of 897 food and 896 drinking water samples was assessed in a water and sanitation intervention project. The geometric mean of faecal coliforms per g or ml was 7.5 × 10³ in left-over rice, 1.4 × 10² in other types of boiled rice, 2.5 × 10² in milk, 4.8 in household drinking water, and 3.5 in bread. Multiplication of faecal coliforms occurred when there was a delay of more than 4 h between preparation and food intake. All samples were more contaminated in the rainy than in the dry season. Strategies to reduce contamination should therefore focus on ‘wet’ foods, early consumption after preparation, and re-heating of left-over foods. Understanding the reasons for the faulty practices is also essential to the formulation of effective measures.

  • Publication type: Journal article
  • Record Number: 19902072510
  • Author Affiliation: ICDDR,B, PO Box 128, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh.
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • Language of publication: English
  • Geographical Location: Asia; Bangladesh;
  • Organism Descriptors: bacteria; man;
  • Descriptors: contamination; Drinking water; feeding; Food; Food products; foods; Infant foods; infants; water; water supply; weaning;
  • Identifiers: baby foods; water supplies; weaning foods;
  • CABICODEs: QQ200 – Food Contamination, Residues and Toxicology; QQ000 – Food Science and Food Products (Human);
  • Broad Terms: prokaryotes; Homo; Hominidae; Primates; mammals; vertebrates; Chordata; animals; eukaryotes; South Asia; Asia; Least Developed Countries; Developing Countries; Commonwealth of Nations;


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Written by geraldmoy

March 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm