A cross-sectional study on the microbiological quality and safety of raw chicken meats sold in Nairobi, KenyaReport as inadecuate

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BMC Research Notes

, 7:627

First Online: 10 September 2014Received: 01 February 2014Accepted: 06 September 2014DOI: 10.1186-1756-0500-7-627

Cite this article as: Odwar, J.A., Kikuvi, G., Kariuki, J.N. et al. BMC Res Notes 2014 7: 627. doi:10.1186-1756-0500-7-627


BackgroundChicken is a rich source of meat protein and is increasingly being consumed in urban areas in Kenya. However, under poor hygienic environment, raw chicken meat presents an ideal substrate supporting the growth of pathogenic Escherichia coli and Coliform bacteria indicating the potential presence of other pathogenic bacteria; this may constitute a major source of food-borne illnesses in humans. This study sought to assess the microbiological quality and safety of raw chicken meat sold in Nairobi, Kenya by determining the E. coli-coliform contamination levels as well as the antimicrobial resistance patterns and pathogenicity of E. coli isolated.

FindingsWe conducted a Cross-sectional study to collect two hundred raw chicken samples that were randomly purchased between the periods of August 2011-February 2012. Enumeration of bacteria was done using 3 M Petri film E. coli-Coliform count plates, isolation and identification of E. coli through standard cultural and biochemical testing, antimicrobial susceptibilities interpreted according to criteria set by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute 2012 while Polymerase chain reaction assays were used to determine presence of virulence genes in isolated E. coli. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 17.0. Contamination rates were 97% and 78% respectively for Coliform bacteria and E. coli. Seventy six percent of samples fell under the unacceptable microbial count limit >100 cfu-ml and significant differences in the E. coli-coliform counts p < 0.001 were observed among the chicken retail outlets with samples from supermarkets having the lowest level of contamination compared to the rest of the retail outlets. Seventy five percent of the isolates were resistant to at least one of the 12 antibiotics tested with resistance to tetracycline being the highest at 60.3%. In addition 40.4% E. coli isolates were positive for the ten virulence genes tested.

ConclusionRaw retail chicken meats in Nairobi are not only highly contaminated, but also with potentially pathogenic and multi-drug resistant strains of E. coli. It will be important for public health authorities and retail chicken processing outlets to collaborate in ensuring adherence to set out principles of hygienic processing and handling of chicken meats in order to reduce potential risks of infection.

KeywordsRaw retail chicken meat E. coli-coliforms Microbial counts Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1756-0500-7-627 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Joyce Arua Odwar - Gideon Kikuvi - James Ngumo Kariuki - Samuel Kariuki

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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