Improving microbiological food safety in peri-urban Mali; an experimental study
Touré O Coulibaly S Arby A Maiga F Cairncross S, 2011. Food Control (in press)
Twenty years ago, a WHO review of the literature assumed that most food-borne disease transmission in developing countries takes place within the home, and advocated a major programme of interdisciplinary research to develop and test cost-effective interventions to promote food hygiene.
The HACCP approach was applied step by step, to two selected weaning foods prepared by 15 volunteer mothers in peri-urban Mali. After setting Critical Control Points (CCP), actions were taken to control, reduce or eliminate microbial growth at these points. 432 food samples were collected and examined for thermotolerant coliforms in a local laboratory to assess the effectiveness of the approach. Lessons learnt were translated into messages delivered in a pilot study.
Traditional cooking was very effective in eliminating faecal contamination; reheating was as effective as cooking when adopted, because there was no significant difference in the temperatures reached in both cases. Behavioural corrective actions were effective in controlling faecal contamination at the other CCPs (serving the child after cooking and after reheating).
Keywords: HACCP; Weaning food; Bacteriological quality; Food safety; Developing country; Mali