Bacteriological Quality of Fresh Beef Sold Within Eldoret Municipality
Meat is the primary source of proteins in many parts of Africa. In many cases however, it is major point of entry of many zoonotic diseases. Further, due to the long procedures involved in the meat industry, it is also implicated with many diseases associated with poor hygiene. The study was done to assess the bacteriological quality of (beef and mutton) sold at the Eldoret Municipality in Uasin Gishu county in particularly the bacteriological load of meat collected from selected sites. The study sought to assess the bacterial load of the meat in five major abattoirs in major peri-urban centres of Eldoret Municipality, Kenya; Kaburwo (Langas), Maili Nne, Cyrus (Munyaka), Eldoret main, and Teresia ((Moiben) and butcheries. Five butcheries in Eldoret town were also randomly selected for inclusion in the study. Eldoret is currently among the fastest growing town in Kenya with 475,716 people according to 2019 Kenya Population and Housing Census. It’s the economic hub for North Rift Region and neighboring counties; Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet and sections of Baringo, Kakamega, Bungoma, and Trans-Nzoia. Slum households comprise the majority of Eldoret city’s inhabitants. The slaughterhouse within Eldoret municipality supplies approximately 80% of the town with meat and slaughter an average of 30 cattle and 150 shoats (sheep and goats) per day making it the largest in the Region. Meat samples were aseptically collected and taken in sterile bags and kept at 4˚C prior to processing using standard microbiological techniques. One gram of each meat sample was mixed with 0.4 ml of 0.1% of buffered peptone water for 2 minutes. Serial dilutions were carried out and followed by culture via pour plate technique. The plates were incubated for 24 hours at 37 ˚C after which total plate count was done to determine the bacterial load of the meat samples. The data analysis was done using Ms excel 2013. The means from different slaughter houses and Butcheries were done. The highest bacterial load was found in the carcasses in the butchery with an average of 19.8 cfus while the lowest was from the Maili Nne abattoir with an average of 4.9 cfus. Among the abattoirs, Teresia had the highest bacterial load of 9.2 cfus. Both Slaughter houses and butchery isolates recorded high counts exceeding the acceptable maximum limits prescribed by Meat HACCP (Scotland) regulations citing accepted ranges > 3.0 and > 5.0 cfu/g respectively indicating poor bacteriological quality. More public health education on the appropriate hygienic practices ought to be rolled out to help achieve a better microbiological quality status of the meat sold around Eldoret Municipality. The research work will help highlight the areas that need improvement during the distribution of beef carcasses to avoid and reduce contamination with pathogens. The results will inform the policy makers on areas that need reinforcement with regulations and an appropriate action plan that will reduce the microbial contamination of beef before, during and after slaughtering processes.
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