Evaluation of Microbial Quality of Vegetables and Fruits in Nigeria: A Review

Document Type: Review Article

Authors

1 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Anambra State, Nigeria.

2 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

3 Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria.

4 Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Pharmaceutial Sciences, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Agbani, Enugu State, Nigeria.

5 Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, Delta State University, Abraka.

6 Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.

Abstract

Fruits and vegetables play significant roles in human diet. There is a rise in the patients of food borne diseases resulting from street vended fruits and vegetables. This review evaluated the microbial safety profile of fruits and vegetables that were utilized by the Nigeria populace. Secondary data from previously published studies were sourced using Google Scholars and Pubmed data bases. Microbial contamination, fruits and vegetable safety, fruits poisoning were the search words used. Studies that met the context of the review topic were evaluated and summarized. Samples were evaluated for bacterial and fungal loads, as well as parasitic prevalence. Bacteria isolated from most samples included Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Shigella spp., Salmonella spp., Klebsiella pneumoniae, Micrococcus spp., Lactobacillus spp., Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas spp., Proteus spp., Bacillus spp. and Streptococcus spp . Fungi isolated included Aspergillus spp., Rhizopus, Saccharomyces spp., Penicillium spp., Rhizopus spp., Fusarium spp., and Neurospora spp . Parasite found were Ascaris lumbricoides, Strongyloides stercolaris, Trichuris trichiura, hookworms, Strongyloides stercoralis, Giardia lamblia, Schistosoma spp . and Entamoeba hartmani. Improper washing of fruits and vegetables, untreated human feaces and agricultural bio-solid were major predisposing factors.Adequate education on proper hygiene, decontamination approaches towards improving the quality of fruits and vegetables vended in Nigeria were recommended by most authors. This study revealed that adequate works are still needed to implement calls for strict implementation of various highlighted recommendations.

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