Determination of microbial contamination in meat and fish products sold in the Kumasi metropolis (A Case Study of Kumasi central market and the Bantama market)
Authors: Prince Antwi-Agyei and B.K. Maalekuu
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Food borne diseases are considered to be the most wide spread health problem in most parts of the world especially in the developing countries. This is mainly due to the way food is handled by the producer and the final consumer. The food safety risks associated with meat and fish products have been widely documented. This study evaluates the level of microbial contamination of meat and fish products that are sold in two major markets in the Kumasi metropolis of the Ashanti Region in Ghana. Ten samples of different meat portions and fish samples each were selected from the two markets (5 meat and 5 fish samples from Bantama market and then 5 meat and 5 fish samples from Kumasi Central market). The samples were analyzed for total viable bacteria count, total coliforms count, Escherichia coli and salmonella using different biochemical test. Pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus, mould, Pseudomonas spp. Salmonella and Bacillus spp. were also isolated from both the meat and fish products. The study suggested that most of the meat and fish products that are sold are commonly contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. Bantama market recorded the highest level of contamination. This contamination may play a significant role in the transmission of potentially harmful microorganisms which causes different diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and skin infections. It is therefore expedient that great care is taken during handling and the preparation of our meat and fish products to avoid or reduce the level of microbial load and contamination. Thorough cooking processes and good hygiene practices could help reduce the microbial load to harmless level.
Keywords: Microbial contamination, Food safety, pathogenic micro-organisms, meat and fish.