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Aims: The essence of this research was to assess the microbiological quality of suya condiments/spices sold at different points in Obio/Akpor (Choba and Rumuepirikom) and Ikwerre (Aluu) Local Government Areas, Rivers State and reduction of microbial load using home microwave oven.
Study Design: Completely randomized design with two replications and average values calculated.
Place and Duration of Study: Food and Industrial Microbiology Laboratory, University of Port and Emadavistic Medical and Research Laboratory, Osaks House, East-West road Port Harcourt for three months.
Methodology: Twelve (12) samples of already formulated suya condiments/spices were sampled from twelve different suya vendors at Choba, Rumuepirikom, and Aluu. Standard methods were used for the microbiological analyses and microbial inactivation using home microwave oven.
Results: The total plate counts (log10 CFU/g) for the samples ranged from 5.35 to 6.29, 5.67 to 6.09, and 5.88 to 6.36 for samples collected from Choba, Rumuepirikom and Aluu respectively. The isolated bacteria on the basis of cultural, physiological and biochemical characteristics were identified as: Staphylococcus spp. (44.4%), Salmonella spp. (11.1%), Bacillus spp. (35.2%), Shigella sp. (1.9%), Enterobacter sp. (3.7%) and Streptococcus sp. (3.7%) from all three locations. A decrease in the microbial load was noted as exposure time increased from 0 to 60 s. (exposure to what)
Conclusion: In all, suya condiments collected for this study were contaminated with bacteria of public health significance which suggest the need for microbial inactivation and an improvement in hygiene practice during processing and storage.
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