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Research Article Open Access

Microbial Quality and Safety of Ready-to-Eat Foods in Cafeterias around Wollega University, Nekemte Campus (Ethiopia)


These days, many people are eating away from home that could expose to foodborne diseases. The study was to test the quality and safety of some Ready-To-Eat (RTE) foods using the standardized microbiological parameters. A total of 75 samples comprising of each 15 ‘Beyeanet’, ‘Keyiwot’, ‘Pasta’, ‘Tibs’ and ‘Macaroni’ were collected from five cafeterias around Wollega University (WU) and analyzed for a load of different bacterial groups. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests were performed for the representative isolates using the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method. The mean (log) count of Aerobic Mesophilic Bacteria (AMB) was in the range of 6.041-6.441 with highest from ’Keyiwot’. Similarly, the highest mean counts (log) for bacterial endospores, Enterobacteriaceae, Total Coliforms (TCF), Fecal Coliforms (FCF) and Staphylococcus aureus was 4.923, 4.998, 3.893, 3.815 and 3.692 from ‘Beyeanet ’, ‘Tibs’, ‘Macaroni’, ‘Keyiwot’ and ‘Beyeanet ’, respectively. There was no significant difference in the level of contamination among cafeterias (p<0.05) with respect to AMB, Enterobacteriaceae, and TCF. A total of 107 bacterial isolates were collected from the food samples which were identified as 10 genera. The abundance of Bacillus>Staphylococcus>Alcaligenes>Acinetobacter>Pseudomonas>Aeromonas>Escherichia>Micrococcus>Plesiomonas>Citrobacter. However, no Salmonella and Shigella spp. were identified. Plesiomonas and Alcaligenes were resistant to gentamicin; Escherichia, Plesiomonas Citrobacter, and Alcaligenes were resistant to erythromycin; and Staphylococcus, Micrococcus and Acinetobacter were susceptible to ampicillin. The isolates were intolerant to ciprofloxacin; whereas 6 of the 10 genera were resistant to carbenicillin and oxacillin. In general, the bacterial load of RTE foods around WU was beyond the standard limit for consumption. Therefore, training for cafeteria owners and food handlers on how to handle RTE food can reduce the risk of contamination.

Workineh Chalchisa and Girmaye Kenasa

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