Food Hygiene

Micro-organisms Associated with Locally Available Infant Weaning Foods in Jos and Environs Nigeria.

Micro-organisms Associated with Locally Available Infant Weaning Foods in Jos and Environs Nigeria, Nigerian Journal of Paediatrics 2001; 28:7. pp. 7-12

EI Ikeh, PE Okwudili, ES Agina, CU Odumodu

 

Abstract

 

A study was carried out to ascertain the micro-organisms associated with the local cereal-based infant weaning foods in Jos, Nigeria. These weaning foods include fresh cow milk and pap, which is made from different types of cereals. The sampled weaning foods included maize and sugar; maize, sugar and milk; soyabeans, maize and groundnut; soyabeans, maize, groundnut, egg and banana; guinea-corn and sugar; and millet and sugar. Sixteen micro-organisms were isolated consisting of Bacillus species, Streptococcus faecalis, Streptococcus viridans, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Lactobacillus species, Pseudomonas species, Klebsiella species, Citrobacter species, Escherichia coli, Actinomycetes species, Neurospora sitophila, Rhizopus species, Fusarium species, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus tamarii. The average microbial load in the sampled weaning foods ranged from 4.9×106 to 7.3 x 106 cfu/ml. A few of the micro-organisms are pathogenic, while most of them can cause food spoilage which may result in weaning diarrhoea. All the types of food had equal chances of being contaminated by any of the micro-organisms (P>0.05). Also the practice of cooking the pap further to about 95oC for 5 minutes prior to serving can significantly reduce the microbial load. The practice of storing large quantities of prepared food for more than 6 hours at room temperature is detrimental to the quality of the food. The environment may also contribute to the incidence of weaning diarrhoea as the average microbial load in the foods from the rural areas was higher than those from urban areas. In order to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with weaning diarrhoea, efforts should be made to reduce or possibly prevent microbial contamination of prepared local weaning foods.


 

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Written by geraldmoy

March 4, 2011 at 3:43 pm