International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2018 | Month: July | Volume: 8 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 41-49

Bacteriological Qualities of Red Meat (Beef) and Meat Hygiene Practices among Meat Handlers in Aba Metropolis, Nigeria

Azuamah Y.C.1, Amadi A.N.2, Iro O.K.1, Amadi C.O.A.2, Braid W.3

1Department of Environmental Health Science, Abia state University Uturu, Nigeria
2Department of Public Health, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria
3Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

Corresponding Author: Azuamah Y.C.


Poor hygiene and sanitary practices among meat handlers can lead to the contamination of meat. This contamination can occur at any point during the transportation, storage and processing of meat. This study was carried out in Aba metropolis, Southeastern Nigeria to investigate the bacteriological qualities of red meat and the meat hygiene practices of meat handlers. Seventy-two meat samples were purchased from 72 meat handlers at 4 different markets in Aba metropolis. A harmonized HACCP checklist was used to interview the 72 meat handlers. Results of laboratory analysis showed that the bacteria mean colony forming units (CFU/g) ranged from 3.23 x 105 to 2.13 x 108. Staphylococcus species has the greatest number of isolates with 96 (16.11%) occurrence followed closely by Escherichia coli with 93 (15.60%) occurrence. Klebsiella species had 78 (13.09%) isolates; Campylobacter species had 68 (11.41%) isolates; Pseudomonas species and Enterococcus species had 64 (10.74%) and 63 (10.57%) respectively. Other bacteria isolated include Bacillus species, 34 (5.70%); Enterobacter species, 30 (5.03%); Salmonella species, 28 (4.70%); Shigella species, 40 (6.71%); and Micrococcus species, 2 (0.34%). Out of the 72 meat handlers interviewed using the harmonized checklist, the mean percentage score for meat storage and meat transportation was 28.57% and 35.71% respectively. None of the meat handers scored above 40% in the checklist for both meat storage and meat transportation. Results from the interview also show that only 9 (11.69%) wear hand gloves; 15 (19.48%) have adequate wash-hand basins with soap and running water; 7 (9.09%) wash their hands routinely with soap and running water; and 25 (32.47%) of the meat handlers are free from skin injuries or enteric illnesses. It was recommended that meat handlers especially in developing countries need proper education and training on the meat hygiene. Regulating agencies were also advised to ensure strict compliance by meat handlers to safety standards by embarking on routine inspection at slaughter houses and market places.

Key words: Bacteria, meat hygiene, red meat, HACCP, meat handlers, sanitation.

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