Hygienic practices and occurrence of coliforms and Staphylococcus on food at a public hospital in Kenya
Githiri Margaret, Margaret
Okemo, P. O.
MetadataShow full item record
Objective: To establish the food hygiene practices that are associated with occurrence of Coliform and Staphylococcus pathogens on fried chicken at a public hospital in Kenya. Methodology and results: Samples of fried chicken were collected immediately after preparation and 15 min before service from the four kitchens at the Kenyatta National Hospital.The samples were analysed for total viable counts (TVC) of coliforms, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, in order to assess the levels of contamination and relate this to the food handling practices. The total counts were obtained by multiplying the average counts with the dilution factor. This was then expressed as colony forming units per gram of food. The results indicated that pathogens were not present on food immediately after cooking. However, before service, 10% of the food samples exceeded the acceptable TVC limit of 106 CFU/g while 7.5% exceeded coliform limit of 102 CFU/g and 10 CFU/g of E. coli, respectively. S. aureus was found in one out of forty samples and this was significant since the organism is often implicated in food poisoning. ANOVA tests indicated no statistical difference between the TVC, mean coliform count and mean E. coli counts from the four kitchens (p>0.05). Conclusion and application of findings: These results indicate that there is higher probability of food being contaminated before service. Contamination may result from handling cooked food with contaminated hands, equipment or utensils. The findings have implications for all institutions that handle food including hospitals, schools, colleges, hotels and restaurants. It is concluded that food requires special handling in hospital environment since there is a higher chance of contamination. Cooks, cateresses and people handling food in hospitals must be well trained and should be careful so as to avoid contaminating food which could lead to sickness or poisoning of patients.