Street vegetables vending has been benefiting both consumers, who are the in low socio economic status, as well as vendors, by creating job opportunities. However, street vegetables are perceived to be a major public health risk due to contamination. The objective of this study was to evaluate the microbiological quality and safety of street vended vegetables in Mekelle city. The study involved collection of socio economic data using structured questionnaire and laboratory analysis for microbial quality and safety. A total of 172 vegetable samples were purchased from different sites and markets of Mekelle City and analyzed for their microbial load following standard microbiological methods, 4.5-6.4 log10 CFU g-1 of vegetable samples had aerobic mesophilic counts. Similarly,4-4.8 log10 CFU g-1, 4-4.7 log10 CFU g-1and 2-2.8 log10CFU g-1of samples had , Enterobacteriaceae, staphylococci and yeast counts respectively. The aerobic mesophilic flora of the vegetable samples was dominated by Bacillus spp. (38%) followed by Enterobacteriaceae spp. (27.5%). Salmonella and S. aureus were isolated from 24 (13.6%) and 18 (9%) vegetable samples, respectively. Lettuce had high microbial load and Salmonella were most prevalent in Tomato but S. aureus were more prevalent in green pepper.
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