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Street Vended Juices as A Risk Factor of Microbial Diseases in District Mardan, Pakistan

Asma Waheed Qureshi, Hadia Tila

Abstract: In public spaces like streets and other outdoor areas, merchants prepare and sell foods and drinks for sale. The Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 2.5 million individuals eat street food every day. Objective: To study the assessment of microbial contamination of juices vended in streets in District Mardan of Pakistan. Methods: 315 samples comprising juices of sugarcane, pomegranate, jaggery, plum, mango, banana and apples were aseptically collected from three Tehsils of district Mardan including Katlang, Takht Bhai and Mardan. Results: Analysis of the samples revealed that 96% of juices had high loads of bacterial pathogens such as Coliforms (96.82%), Staphylococcus (81.90%), Salmonella (64.76%). In Tehsil Katlang and Takht Bhai all collected samples were contaminated while in Mardan Tehsil 87.6% bacterial contamination was observed. Very high number of coliforms were observed in sugarcane, apple juices and Jaggery, Salmonella counts were highest 21.05x102 cfu/ml in Jagerry and Staphylococcus growth was highest in sugarcane 1.22x103 cfu/ml. Conclusions: It was noted that coliforms contamination is significantly higher as compared to other two bacteria indicating sewage water mixing in water used for preparation or handling of these juices. To prevent future food-borne infections, it is advised that frequent inspection of the quality of juices sold on the street be done.
Keywords: Street Vended Food / Microbial Contamination / Mardan / Pakistan

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