Abstract— A study of bacteria associated with spoilage of various types of salads purchased from 3 different restaurants in Uyo metropolis was carried out between the months August and October, 2008 using standard microbiological procedures. The mean microbial load in vegetable salad was (3.5±0.25) x 107cfu/g with the sample from food affairs having the highest load (3.7 x 107cfu/g). The mean microbial load in garlic salad was (3.2±0.25) x 107cfu/g also with the sample from food affairs having the highest load (3.6 x 107cfu/g). However, fruit salad samples from Mr. Biggs had the highest microbial load (3.9 x 107cfu/g) out of the mean value of (3.6±0.25) x 107 cfu/g. Analysis of the frequency of occurrence of the isolates revealed that Staphylococcus aureus (33%), Micrococcus spp. (20%), Bacillus spp. (20%), Proteus spp. (13%), Pseudomonas spp. (13%) and Escherichia coli (7%) were the most encountered organisms in both spoiling and fresh (control) salad. The resistotyping of 20 % of tested bacteria were resistant to 5 antibiotics. The presence of Escherichia coli and some potential pathogenic microorganisms in all the samples collected are indications of faecal contamination and unhygienic method of food handling. This suggests that salad should be properly managed during and after preparations to avoid outbreak of food borne diseases. Also the food handlers should be trained and educated on the importance of sanitary condition during food production.
Keywords— Bacteria, salad, spoilage, Staphylococcus species, Escherichia coli, resistotyping.
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