Microbial Quality of Fresh Juices Sold by Street Vendors and Associated Human Health Risks: The Case of Ilala Ward, Dar es Salaam City, Tanzania
Keywords:Total Coliform, Faecal Coliform, Total Viable Counts, Fresh Juice, Hygiene, Health risks
Microbial food quality serves to indicate health risks associated with the consumption of contaminated foods. This study aimed to determine the microbial quality of fresh juices and the level of awareness and perception of the consumers and juice vendors at Ilala Ward, Dar es Salaam. Fresh samples of sugarcane, mango and mixed fruit juices were collected from four different sampling stations and analysed using standard methods for Total Coliform (TC), Faecal Coliform (FC) and Total Viable Count (TVC). The level of awareness and perception of 60 juice vendors and 60 consumers were also assessed by using questionnaires. The results showed that TC numbers ranged from the lowest mean of 6.100±4.180x106 to 7.483±3.650x107 MPN/ml, FC ranged from 2.566±0.989x106 to 2.017±1.687x107 MPN/ml while TVC ranged from 5.046±1.032x109 to 5.871±0.835x109 CFU/ml of fresh juices. The level of TC, FC and TVC was beyond the recommended international and Tanzanian standards showing that fresh juices posed a high risk for consumers. On the other hand, 42% of the juice consumers had low awareness of microbial contamination of fresh juices, which leads to high health risks. It is recommended that street juice vendors should adopt proper hygiene measures and undergo appropriate training on microbial quality, food safety and sanitation.