Rat meat is a good source of protein and it is traded and consumed in different parts of the world. The bacteriological quality with regards to the occurrence of Salmonella spp. and Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 in smoked rat meat sold in different parts of Zaria, Nigeria was determined in other to ascertain its safety for human consumption. A total of 384 smoked rat meat samples were examined from four purposively selected districts in the study area; Samaru, Basawa, Jushi and Sabon Gari, Zaria, Nigeria. The bacterial load was determined using the Total Aerobic Plate Counts (TAPC) by the spread plate technique. The samples were further screened for E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp. using the conventional biochemical characterization methods, including standardized micro-substrate (Microgen GN-ID A+B) detection kit for Gram negative bacteria, Rapid latex agglutination test for E. coli O157:H7 and PCR for salmonella spp. The average TAPC ranged from 12 x 109 cfu.g-1 (lowest) in Basawa, Zaria, to 15 x 109 cfu.g-1 in Jushi, Zaria, sampling areas. Salmonella was isolated from 2(0.5%) and E. coli O157:H7 isolated from 5 (1.3%) of the total 384 samples. Although the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella spp. in this study appeared to be low, the high bacteria count and occurrence of these two important foodborne pathogens is an indication of the poor bacteriological quality of smoked rat meat sold in Zaria, Nigeria and a potential source of food infection to consumers.
Terseer Iyene Addai,
Emmanuel Chukwudi Okolocha,
Beatty Viv Maikai,
Bacteriological Quality and Occurrence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella Species in Smoked Rat Meat Sold in Zaria, Nigeria, Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences.
Vol. 7, No. 2,
2019, pp. 25-33.
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