Dr Okafor Arthur Chinedu and Aquaowo Uwakmfon A., Ojiagu Kingsley D., Agu Kingsley C.   (Published 2018)

Dr Arthur Chinedu
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Abstract Microbial contamination is considered the most significant hazard associated with food. Data on pathogens present in foods are needed to provide valuable information on the exposure of consumers to certain food borne pathogens. Also, consumption habits among consumers may increase the risk of health hazards. This study aimed to assess some practices, signs and symptoms associated with consumption of soaked garri among university students, to also determine the presence and virulence characteristics of some bacteria in garri on sale in the market. A questionnaire was designed and distributed to a hundred university students to ascertain their perception on safety of garri and handling practices. Fifty samples of garri were randomly collected from the market and assessed for presence of bacteria. Isolates of selected genera were then screened for some virulence-associated properties. The results showed that majority of the students (91%) affirmed they do consume soaked garri at least once in a while, even though almost 70% think garri is nutritious. The students (54%) reported to have experienced at least a symptom of ill health after consuming garri soaked in water. The most commonly reported signs and symptoms were: stomach upset > malaise > fever > nausea > vomitting. There was a direct relationship between the number of students that suspect garri could be a source of illness (57.1%) and those that have actually experienced at least a symptom after consuming garri (54%). Results of bacteriological analysis of garri samples from the market indicated mean total aerobic plate count to be 5.42 log cfu/g. Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella were found in 60% of the samples collected. Most isolates of Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella and Pseudomonas were found to be positive for haemolysin and biofilm formation tests which indicate their pathogenic potential. The conclusion is that bacteria with pathogenic potential are common in processed garri being sold in the market and that university students in the habit of consuming soaked garri are probably at risk of health hazards associated with pathogens in garri. Therefore, new food safety regulations should be formulated to incorporate food safety management systems during processing of garri in order to reduce the prevalence of food borne pathogens.

Item Type: Journal article(non-copyrighted)
Format: PDF document,   219.38 KB
Copyright: Creative Commons LicenseCreative Commons license
Keywords: Garri, Food Safety, Students, Bacteria, Virulence
Department: Natural Science
Field of Study: Biology
Uploaded By: Ikhimalo Odufa Patience
Date Added: 06 Mar 2018 8:04am
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018
Journal URL:

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