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Jelof rice sold in makurdi metropolis was examined for pathogenic bacteria. A total of 25 different samples of jellof rice were obtained from fast food centers in between September and November 2015. All samples were was plated in replicate onto Nutrient Agar, McConkey Agar  using spread plate method, and streak plate method the medium was then incubated at 370C for 24 hours. Chi-square statistics was used to validate the test result at 0.05 level of significance, there is a high significant level (p=0.00) of microbial count among different locations in Makurdi metropolis. Microorganisms isolated include; Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The study showed that jellof rice sold in fast food centers within makurdi metropolis  were contaminated with varying level of microorganisms indicating inadequate processing and poor handling practices which can pose danger to health of the consumers. It is hereby recommended that routine microbial analysis of foods sold at public places be carried out to prevent outbreak of food poisoning.



1.0   INTRODUCTION                                                       


In the olden days, food was simply considered as anything people ate or took in, in response to hunger or illness. When one got up from sleep, he ate, and when he travelled from one place to another, he simply ate. No one really understood what was good or bad to eat. The Physicians then attempted to prescribe diets as remedies for illness, but the process was more of astrology than medicine (Mckenny, 2009).

The principle “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” was exposed by Hippocrates about 2500 years ago, to predict the relationship between foods for health and their therapeutic uses (Hasler, 1998b, Bagchi, 2006)


Today, food can be defined as any edible substance that is of plant, animal or microbial origin, which is a source of nutrients and which when consumed, absorbed and oxidized (broken down) provides energy which the body uses to do all forms of biological work, maintain and repair damaged tissues, enhance growth and development, aid mental development and proper functioning of the brain as well as giving wellbeing or nourishment to the food (Mckenny, 2009).


In recent times food safety issues have assumed a wider dimension because of the reliance on fast food whose preparation the consumer has no control over(Muinde and Kuria,2005). Our busy way of life means that people eat more meals in restaurants, or from fast food outlets. If this food is not handled hygienically or not stored at the right temperature, food borne illnesses are bound to occur (Rutter and Quine, 2002).


Food safety is the assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and or eaten according to its intended use. Millions of people fall ill and many do suffer from serious disorders, long-term complications or die as a result of eating unsafe food (WHO,2001). Food borne and waterborne diarrhea diseases are leading causes of illness and globally kill an estimated 2.1 million people annually, most of whom are children in developing countries (WHO, 2001).


Food handlers have a prime role to play in food businesses, and that is to guarantee that meals served are hygienic for consumption. Conscious or careless contamination of such food places consumers at risk of suffering from food borne illnesses. Food businesses have become widespread in recent times, in response to the changing lifestyle and food consumption of people (Angelillo et al., 2000). They offer convenience and ease of access to food to busy individuals, who are unable to pre- pare their own meals regularly at home. In large scale cooking, food passes through many hands, thereby increasing the chances of food contamination due to improper handling (Angelillo et al., 2000).  Deliberate or accidental contamination of food during large production might endanger the health of consumers, and have very expensive repercussions on a country, as such outbreaks feature prominently in national statistics (WHO, 1999).

The patronage of ready-to-eat food centers within Makurdi metropolis have also increased over time, as parents and guardians have become busy and as such prefer to buy convenient food instead of preparing it. Four out of every five Nigerian visits a fast food center at least once a (Muinde and Kuri, 2005). Due to the increased consumption of rice as a staple food in most parts of the world, there has been an increased need to determine its safety, especially when prepared and sold in fast food centers and cafeterias (Hasler, 1998a).

Moreover, the microbiological quality of jellof rice is said to be influenced by a number of factors such as cuisine type, rice type, cooking, serving methods and management/food handling (FEHD, 1995). In 2009, De Bess et al. 2009 reported that 32% of food handlers in ready-to-eat centers in Washington had no knowledge of food safety practices and of prevention of food borne diseases. This may result in the transmission of food borne pathogens to the people consuming such food. Nichols et al., 1999 demonstrated that the microbiology quality of jellof rice from some eateries is low compared to some others. Due to the number of outbreaks of food poisoning from ready-to eat food centers, it has been suggested by (FEHD, 1995) that laws should be enacted on the establishment of ready-to-eat food centers, and that the staff of such centers should be trained on proper hygienic procedures as well as the transmission of food borne diseases, especially in developing countries (Bhaskar et al., 2004).


1.1       Statement of the Problem

Pathogenic organisms are organisms that are referred to as specific health hazard associated with gastrointestinal tract resulting from the consumption of food containing toxins. The victims suffering from abdominal pain and diarrheas usually manifest the illness which when untreated in time result to death and unnecessary expenses in seeking medical advice. This has now made me interested on how we can improve on our food hygiene to avoid contamination


1.2       Justification of the Study

This project work is based on the isolation of pathogenic bacteria associated with jellof rice sold in fast food centers within makurdi metropolis and the causative organism include Staphylococcus aureus and Esherichia coli the modern problem to food sanitation


1.3   Aims

The aims of this study are:

1. To isolate microorganisms (bacteria) from jellof rice, obtained from different fast food centers within Makurdi metropolis.

2. To compare the microbial load of jellof rice collected from these fast food centers in relation to the location.


1.4 Significance of the Study

The significance of this work is to enable us improve the hygiene of food (jellof rice) sold in fast food centers and a good knowledge of save food, handling practices, suitable protection clothing to be worn and it will enable us to be aware of various pathogenic bacteria and the infection they transmit through food (jellof rice).

1.5   Challenges /Limitations

The following were the challenges/limitation faced during this research

  • Financial instability
  • Ill-equipped food handlers
  • Inadequate or out of date food
  • Inadequate laboratory facilities
  • Out of date medias