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Authors: Aduah, M.
Issue Date: 2020
Abstract: All over the world, foodborne infection is a key challenge to public health which continuously threatens consumers through the consumption of contaminated foods including meat. This study was conducted to assess the knowledge and practices of meat safety by grilled ready-to-eat (RTE) meat vendors and consumers. The study also determined the microbial quality, prevalence and antibiotic susceptibility of Salmonella enterica in grilled ready-to-eat (RTE) meats vended on the streets of Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital of Ghana. A descriptive survey design comprising semi-structured questionnaires was used to obtain information on the knowledge and practices of food safety from 300 grilled ready-to-eat (RTE) meat vendors and 382 RTE meat consumers, selected at random from the study area between October, 2019 and February, 2020. In addition, physical observations of the vending sites were made to appreciate the hygienic conditions under which RTE meats are grilled and sold to consumers. A total of three hundred grilled RTE meat swab samples were obtained from beef (50), chicken (50), chevon (50), guinea fowl (50), mutton (50) and pork (50) from the selected vender shops in Bolgatanga; and examined for the prevalence of Salmonella enterica and total aerobic bacteria according to the procedures in the USA-FDA Bacteriological Analytical Manual. Antibiotic susceptibility test was carried out using the disc diffusion method and the results interpreted as indicated in the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), (2008) guidelines. All data were analyzed using SPSS (version 20) and P<0.05 was considered significant. The results showed that almost all the vendors (97.7%) were males and majority aged between 21–40 years (77.3%) and were Muslims (63.0%) by religion. Also, 98.3% of the vendors heard about meat safety and 94.7% knew that it is necessary to refrigerate leftover meat. In addition, 37.0% of the vendors obtained their meat through backyard slaughter and most (48.0%) sold their meat on table with a wire mesh covering the meat. The results further revealed that vendors do not always wear gloves (68.0%), but are willing to adhere to food safety protocols (100.0%). For the RTE meat consumers, majority (71.7%) were males, had ages between 21 and 40 years (65.4%) and a greater proportion (69.6%) preferred grilled RTE guinea fowl when they go out with friends in the evening (86.9%). However, the study revealed that a good number of the consumers (76.6%) were not aware that eating, drinking and smoking by vending sites of RTE meat increases the risk of cross contamination. AlsoAlso, 94.0% of the respondents were aware that regular hand washing and the use of sterilized gloves by vendors reduces the risk of contamination and will want vendors to wear apron, gloves and mouth mask while preparing and selling the different meats. However, 46.3% of the consummers did not want the vendors to wear jewelries while handling RTE meat. This study revealed that the mean total plate count (TPC) of beef, chicken, chevon, guinea fowl meat, mutton and pork were 3.368 log10 cfu/cm2 , 2.526 log10 cfu/cm2 , 4.852 log10 cfu/cm2 , 4.057 log10 log10 cfu/cm2 , 4.171 log10 cfu/cm2 and 4.02 log10 cfu/cm2 , respectively. It was revealed that chevon had the highest count of 4.852 log10 cfu/cm2 whilst the least count of 2.526 log10 cfu/cm2 for chicken. The results showed significant difference (P<0.001) among bacterial count of the various meat types. However, there were no significant difference (P>0.05) among guinea fowl meat, mutton and pork. Furthermore, the prevalence of Salmonella enterica in the RTE meats was 2% (6). Guinea fowl meat recorded the highest prevalence (4%) whilst tested beef was negative for of Salmonella enterica. There were no significant difference (P>0.05) among the prevalence of Salmonella enterica in all the grilled RTE meat types. Physical examination of the grilled RTE meats’ environment revealed that the vendors largely engaged in good hygienic practices. The study also revealed that grilled RTE meats sold in Bolgatanga are generally safe from Salmonella enterica and had microbial load not above acceptable limit.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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