Microbiological assessment of dispensed foods in primary schools in Bokkos L.G.A. of Plateau State, Nigeria.

Document Type : Original Article


1 Public Health, Community Medicine and Primary Health Care, Bingham University, Karu Nasarawa State, Nigeria

2 Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria

3 Lifebridge Medical Diagnostic center, Garki 2 Abuja, Nigeria

4 Department of Radiography and Radiographic Sciences, Bingham University Karu, Nasarawa State, Nigeria


Background:  The microbiological assessment of food safety is of paramount importance in ensuring the well-being of populations, particularly in regions where foodborne illnesses are prevalent. This study aimed to assess microbiological quality of food dispensed in primary schools within Bokkos L.G.A of Plateau State, Nigeria. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. A total of 20 food samples were collected over a specified period of time. Assessments included temperature monitoring and compliance with food safety and hygiene standards. Food samples were collected aseptically from the selected schools and transported to a microbiology laboratory. Various standard microbiological techniques were employed to analyze the samples for the presence of harmful microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi. Microbiological data were analyzed to determine the prevalence of pathogenic microorganisms in the dispensed foods. Results: Microbiological analysis demonstrated the presence of pathogenic bacteria and fungi; Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella species (spp), Bacillus cereus, Enterobacter spp, Pseudomonas spp, Proteus spp, Streptococcus spp, Shigella, Lactobacillus spp, Enterococcus spp, Candida spp, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Aspergillus spp, Fusarium spp, Mucor spp and Penicillium spp. Eighty percent (80%) of food samples were above tolerable limit (unacceptable) and the highest plate count could be due to inadequate handling and processing by vendors, contamination caused by storage facilities, or poor hygiene/poor quality of grains and water used. Conclusion: The presence of pathogenic microorganisms in dispensed foods underscores the importance of implementing stringent food safety protocols and promoting hygiene education among food handlers in school kitchens.


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